In Progress wins MY HERO 2021 film festival

In Progress filmmakers from Minnesota and Wisconsin had films that made it to the 17th MY HERO International Film Festival, including three filmmakers from Crookston. Congratulations to “8 minutes and 46 seconds” from Angel “Miracle” Espericueta who won the Dan Eldon Youth Activist Award; ‘5400 Children’ by Morgen Arguelles who received 1st place in the High School Experimental category, and ‘Love Can Heal Us All’ by Azomali Obisakin who received 1st place in the Elementary category.

In Progress is an organization that works with developing artists of all ages and provides the opportunity for artists to develop their skills as storytellers and digital leaders through the use of photography, video and music. Their aim is to “diversify cultural dialogue and pave the way for new voices in the field of digital art creation”.

This small, non-profit organization has been promoting the voices of new and emerging artists since its inception in 1996, breaking down barriers of geography, class, education and culture. It emerged from a series of workshops for young people where “young people became adults, became artists and were looking for ways to continue to create and to connect”. Today, In Progress works with around 1,500 artists a year and reaches tens of thousands through exhibitions and screenings.

“In our work, we seek to develop relationships with artists directly in the communities where they live,” explains Executive Director Kristine Sorensen. “We always include families as partners in this process, which means that we often have parents creating with their children, and children producing with siblings and parents. It is a creative, chaotic and united place for artists to develop. “

“In 2021, we operated two art studios in the state and offered other workshops, residences, exhibits and screenings in some of Minnesota’s smaller communities,” she added.

In Progress is also known for working with artists who would not generally have easy access to creation in digital form. This translates to 98% of BIPOCI artists living in rural, tribal and inner city areas, and those living in low income and poor households. Ongoing, works with the core value of shared learning experiences, shared tools and shared spaces.

“We use digital art creation as a tool for public discourse while building the skills of new and developing creators to create, teach and lead,” Sorensen continued.

MY HERO would like to thank In Progress, a small non-profit organization in Minnesota for their phenomenal work and contribution to the world of the arts and to our MY HERO 2021 film festival.

Love can heal us all

“In this film, which ranked first in the Primary School category, a youngster, Azomali Obisakin, asserts that love above all else is a healing force. The documentary includes interviews with parents and children and reflects on the way to act consciously in love. is good for all. Azomali is 9 years old now, but was only 8 years old when she produced her film. This film is her first, but she is already proving to be a filmmaker talented and dedicated. She sees the video as a way to teach others the power of love. She is currently in pre-production on a second video that will delve deep into bullying, racial prejudice and what it is. ‘one might call a misguided “love.”

5,400 children

“5,400 children were awarded 1st place in the High School Experimental category. Morgen Arguelles is 17 and in her final year at Crookston High School. She has been working as a photographer since she was 14 but switched to video in 2020, because she felt the issues related to family separation were not receiving enough local or national attention. of the young people. She chose to show the faces of the young people with photo and video images projected on their faces to illustrate this impact. She currently working as a curator and community photographer in our studio located in Crookston.

8 minutes and 46 seconds

Winner of the Dan Eldon Youth Activist Award, Angel’s Film ‘Miracle’ Espericueta is a video poem dedicated to the memory of George Floyd and those who protested against his murder by the police. Angel is now a high school graduate. She has followed social injustice all her life on social media and therefore became a commentator on these experiences through her video work. In her production, she contacted other young people and three photojournalists to produce the images that would accompany the play. work she created to recognize the murder of George Floyd. Angel was honored at last year’s My Hero Festival, for her video “Cries of the Children”, and recently received $ 10,000 from the Waterers for her work in social justice, the arts and rural communities. “

Presenting the Dan Eldon Award at the MY HERO International Film Festival, Kathy Eldon said, “The George Floyd movement is kept alive by film and creative activism and your film is going to reach a different audience. I love the juxtaposition of imagery against music and against speech. It was just wonderful.

About the MY HERO International Film Festival

The MY HERO International Film Festival brings together professional filmmakers and young people who honor local and global heroes working for positive change in the world. Thanks to generous sponsors, prizes are awarded to elementary schools, colleges, high schools, colleges and professionals in various categories, including documentary, narrative, music video, animation, experimental, etc.

To see the winning films in 2021, visit

For more details on the MY HERO International Film Festival, please visit

Azomali Obisakin
angel "Miracle" Espericueta

Gerald R. Schneider