(7 min) US

MONDAY 10/23, 4:15 PM (SESSION 10)

Director: Nyla Melvin
Producer: Tom Shepard


As the epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence rip through American communities, filmmaker Nyla Melvin turns the camera on herself and her poetry. Speaking also to the disproportionate amount of police brutality against African Americans Melvin creates an unvarnished account of the most devastating -- and intractable -- problems of our time.


Nyla Melvin is currently a junior in high school in Colorado Springs. She applied to the Youth Documentary Academy (YDA) in 2022, and, at 14, was selected as one of its youngest students. As an epidemic of gun violence rips through communities across the U.S., Nyla chose to make a film to humanize the issue. In her film A GUNSHOT’S CRY, Nyla chose to turn the camera herself and a tradition of spoken word to address the normalizing of mass shootings and death by firearms. In addition to filmmaking, Nyla loves to write poetry and has performed her work at a number of venues in Southern Colorado.

Tom Shepard has been directing and producing documentary films for over 20 years. His film SCOUT’S HONOR won two top awards at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on the PBS program P.OV. He also directed and produced KNOCKING, a film about Jehovah’s Witnesses, which broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens. His most recent film UNSETTLED about LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival and aired nationally on the World Channel’s Doc World. Tom’s film WHIZ KIDS and his collaboration THE GROVE with Andrew Abrahams also both aired nationally on public television. All of Tom’s films have received acclaim in dozens of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Denver Post among others. Previously, Tom worked as an editor at National Public Radio for Linda Wertheimer. He graduated from Stanford University where he majored in biology and film. Tom is also the series producer for ‘Our Time’ on public television.

Contact Information:

e: tom@youthdocumentary.org
w: www.youthdocumentary.org

©2023 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
Traveling Festival
Special Screenings

Mailing List
If you would like to receive periodic updates about UNAFF events, please click HERE to join our mailing list.

Twitter YouTube Respect Zone

Support UNAFF!
We are a nonprofit organization and if you like what we do, please consider making a donation.