UC Davis pediatric patients-turned filmmakers screened their movies for the first time in front of a large audience last Friday at the BayKids Film Festival held at the UC Davis MIND Institute.
The evening celebrated the hospital's partnership with BayKids Studios, a nonprofit organization that brings professional filmmakers to pediatric patients to help them transform into directors, actors and heroes of their own stories. UC Davis Children's Hospital is the only hospital in the Sacramento region with a partnership with BayKids Studios.
The evening included a red carpet entrance, snacks before the screening and an awards presentation for all filmmakers. BayKids Studios executive director Mark Barmore and cinematographer Mimi Rauschendorf attended the event.
This partnership began in 2016, made possible through a Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis grant. BayKids Studios now funds the program for the hospital. Select patients are given an opportunity to create documentaries about their medical journey, or share their hospital artwork through stop motion animations.
“I think it’s empowering for kids to tell their stories and experiences,” said Katie Lorain, art therapist at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “It gives them a sense of mastery. It normalizes the hospital environment and provides an opportunity to have fun.”