Cullowhee teen Anne Wade took on the complex issue of censorship in schools and won first place in the National Coalition Against Censorship’s 11th annual Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest. Her eery, black-and-white silent film, titled “Don’t Let Them Take Your Voice,” impressed the judges with its imagination as well as its deep understanding of censorship beyond the young filmmaker’s years, according to a press release.
“I’m incredibly honored,” Wade said when she got the news that her film had won. “It is my hope that the message presented by my film conveys the importance of free speech — not only in small-town America, like the place I call home, but also throughout the world.”
Wade will receive a $1,000 prize as well as a trip to New York City to attend a free screening of the films on March 21.
All of the semifinalists’ videos can be viewed on the NCAC website. The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) describes itself as “an alliance of 50 national nonprofit organizations dedicated to defending freedom of thought, inquiry and expression.”