Meet the 2021 Youth Media Festival Fellows, the media-savvy high school students producing and curating the 8th Annual Concrete Stories media festival.

The 2021 Youth Media Fellows organized and produced the 8th Annual Concrete Stories: BRIC Youth Media Festival held on May 28, 2021. If you’re interested in participating in the Youth Media Fellowship, information about the program can be found here.



Aileen Garcia is a senior at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School. She spends her time learning and exploring new hobbies. Aileen enjoys creating memories with her family and friends and filming every special moment. Growing up, Aileen has always preferred being behind the camera, capturing the world as she saw it and trying different methods of camera work or angles. She has always been fascinated by all the hard work that goes into making a film and she especially loves how films can have different interpretations of a story. In the future, Aileen hopes to one day work in the film industry or in graphic design.



Annalya Reddick attends the High School of Art and design as a senior. She majors in Film and sees herself in the film industry world. The film is like a breath of air for her. She loves reading and hanging out with her friends and family and she is dedicated to her work day in and day out. She also attends Reel Works as a fellow and every once in a while she attends Reel Works Mediamakers workshops. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in Film and/or Business.


Anthony Cruz is currently attending Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School as a senior. Anthony is majoring in film which he loves to do because it is much more than just a film, it is a story and a work of art. Anthony loves to play volleyball and work on films made by himself. He also attends a program called Brooklyn Interns for Art and Culture in the organization of Brooklyn Academy of Music once a week. In the future, he hopes to be in the film industry or in the marketing business.




Emanuel Strann is a senior at Brooklyn Preparatory High School. He attends Kenilworth Baptist church, in Midwood Brooklyn, where he is one of the lead singers in the youth choir. He enjoys choreographing many of the praise dances that are ministered during Sunday services, and special events held by the church. He also enjoys watching movies and building lego structures in his free time. He currently earns money by acting as maintenance personnel at his mother’s childcare business. He recently created a slideshow of pictures and videos, with animations and musical background, to be used by the childcare program. His hope for the future is to attend a university, where he can focus on a degree in technology.




Esme Zohn attends the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts as a senior. She loves to skate and write short films with her friends, and believes both bring positivity to those around her. Skateboarding and writing have taught Esme to be careful and patient, especially when
doing both at once. She hopes to leave a lasting positive impression on the world in the things she does with her friends. Esme hopes to one day follow her calling and go to USC, surrounding herself with like-minded people.



Leo Cross is an 18-year-old Peruvian American filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York. He’s currently a Year 2 Ghetto Film School Fellow and a junior in Art and Design High School. He started from a very young age having a huge interest and passion in the world of filmmaking, wanting to make an impact with his unique voice in his works. He won 1st place for getting Reel With Your Dreams for an anti-gun PSA and recently won a Gold Key in the Scholastic Awards for a short film he made about his past experiences as a Peruvian inmigrant influences the projects he works on, wanting to represent his country and share his style through his works as a Cinematographer. He’s excited to continue developing his craft and style in the projects he works on.



Michael Hu is a senior at Stuyvesant High School. After spending his childhood in rural China and Virginia, Michael ended up back in NYC, where he found a home among the city’s diverse cultural and artistic communities. He has a passion for both visual and performing arts, spending considerable time in classes and clubs to hone his skill and literacy in both areas. He appreciates theater’s ability to dissect society’s values and inspire empathy, and art’s ability to challenge people’s perspective on the states of contemporary and current societies. For fun, Michael likes to jump ropes, code, cook food for his family, and wander around his block. Michael aims to harness the power of what he loves to engage and create meaningful changes in his community.


Melissa Yiu is a 16-year-old American filmmaker who is currently located in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently a junior attending the High School of Art and Design where she will be learning all the basics of filmmaking. She is also a student of Reelworks where she will produce her very own Narrative Short in 2021. She has started her interest in film from a young age, due to her language barrier at a young age she has relied on films as a way to communicate with others. She wants to include her past experiences as an immigrant from Hong Kong in her work through cinematography and editing. She plans on using film as a way to connect people universally. Melissa is passionate and dedicated to her craft and is excited to continue working as a filmmaker.