Beyond Bullets: Knight grantee deploys young filmmakers to help quell gun violence

In her graduation picture, Samantha Guzman is wearing a purple feathered dress clutching a diploma. Her mom picked up the framed portrait the day after she was shot and killed on a Bronx street corner while walking to catch a bus.

‘I lost my child on Mother’s Day,’ her mom Diana Rodriguez said in a video shown to close to 500 New York City students this week.

The video, produced by young filmmakers, is part of the Beyond Bullets campaign. Funded by the Knight Community Information Challenge and the New York Community Trust, the effort aims to use the power of the media to quell America’s gun violence epidemic. Young filmmakers have been chronicling the effects of the violence, and their works will be shown to students and posted at

The project’s ‘Cybercar,’ a bus equipped with a TV production studio and viewing area, traveled to New York schools this week to show the video about Samantha Guzman and host town hall meetings on how to prevent the bloodshed.

After one forum, organizers asked people in the audience to raise their hands if they knew someone who died from gun violence, the Wall Street Journal reported. Every hand went up.

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