National Coalition Against Censorship Gala (NCAC) took place
November 7th . Held at the Rubin Museum of Art, (150 West
17 th Street at Seventh Avenue) the Gala honored The Drawing
Center, Phil D. Harvey, and Chris Crutcher. Three student
film makers were also held in high esteem that night for
their shorts on the NCAC's 2005 Teen Film Contest question
"Does Free Speech Matter?"
Catherine de Zeger, the
Executive Director of The Drawing Center, wept as she accepted
an award on the center's behalf, for its principled stance
in support of artistic freedom. NCAC Chair Chris Finan acknowledged
Phil D. Harvey, President of DKT International, for challenging
government speech requirements for family planning and AIDS
prevention programs in developing countries. According to
DKT International's Website, DKT International is a Washington
D.C. based charitable organization that implements nine
social marketing programs in nine countries . Chris Crutcher
received his award from Judy Blume, a famous children's
book author and board member of the NCAC; for his authentic
novels for young adults and his outspoken defense of the
"freedom to read". All of the awardees received a exclusive
how did the young stars of the night get into the equation?
The three young finalists, Cameron Loftus, 17, Robert J.
Hornung, 18, and Riley Harmon, 18, all mentioned that they'd
heard about the teen film contest through Fastweb.com, a
tool many students use to find scholarships, internships,
and college information.
Loftus, of Canton, Michigan,
won third place, for an experimental film titled Freedom
in a Word, in a Line, in a Poem for America . His
film used sections of Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl, written
on body parts to answer the question "Does Free Speech Matter?"
"I really like it [making the film] because it was my first
time doing it," Loftus said. He took home $250, a trophy,
a gift bag, and memories from his free trip to New York
City. "Walking around Washington Square was my favorite
part," he said.
Hornung's film, a clay animation
called Today, earned him the 2nd place
prize. Composed of pictures, Robert's film showed an individual
whose free speech was controlled by a fascist society, who
gets exposed to something different (possibly American Society),
which prompts him to leave. Hornung took $500, a trophy,
a gift bag, and his love for NYC back to Cupertino, California.
Regarding his free trip to NYC, he said, "I love the city
a lot. It's just a great place and I wish I had more time
to spend here."
the 1 st place winner, called his experimental film Carbon
Nation . He summarized his film as, "a classroom
full of clones trying to break free from a conforming teacher."
Harmon, a semi-finalist from last year's competition, took
home $1000, a trophy, a gift bag, and of course a good time
during his free trip to New York City.
The boys received their
awards at the end of the night from Shelley Rubin, one of
the founders of the Rubin Museum of Art.
The theme of the night
was: Free Speech matters. It matters because we take the
time to honor the people who take the time to let us know
it does, young and old alike.