North Troy Youth Documentary Selected for Three National Film Festivals

The documentary short “Echoes from Lock One” has been accepted into three film festivals with decisions from others pending. “Echoes from Lock One” is an evocative call for environmental and water justice from the eyes and voices of youth in Troy. During the annual Uptown Summer program based at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, media makers, artists and scientists worked with teens in filming, audio recording, scriptwriting, music production, dance, historical research as well as scientific testing to create this experimental, participatory documentary with a powerful message for change.

Photo by Jamel Mosley

“Echoes from Lock One” is an investigation of the past, present and future of the Hudson River in North Troy. It is where the northern boundary of the ecologically critical Hudson River Estuary meets the southern terminus of the Erie Canal, in a neighborhood filled with history and brownfields.  It is a place where youth living in an uncertain present are pondering their futures.

“The National Endowment for the Arts just included our ‘Echoes from Lock One’ trailer in their weekly report to the White House. It gives us hope that people at the top are listening to the voices of youth in North Central Troy as they share their message: ‘For justice and for our future… no more waiting!’”

Branda Miller, arts & education coordinator at The Sanctuary for Independent Media
Photo by Jamel Mosley

The film was recorded, scripted, and edited by youth, in collaboration with Uptown Summer staff and visiting artists. The stories within the film transform negative stereotypes of our economically oppressed and environmentally devastated neighborhood into compelling messages of hope.

“Echoes” will premiere at the all-virtual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital ( from March 18-28, 2021. For 29 years, the DCEFF has been using the power of film to address environmental issues. We’re thrilled to be included in this year’s lineup. In addition, “Echoes” will be streaming online through the North Dakota Environmental Rights Film Festival ( from April 11-25, 2021 and the Kansas City Film Festival International ( from April 12-18, 2021.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media is part of Media Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in upstate New York. Our mission is to use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression. Since 2005 we have been building an arts, science and environmental campus in North Central Troy. We operate indoor and outdoor presenting and production facilities (the Sanctuary and Freedom Square), a radio station (WOOC 105.3 FM), community gardens (Collard City Growers), a STEM learning center (NATURE Lab), non-clinical health services (the People’s Health Sanctuary) and youth programs (Uptown Summer, Water Justice Lab, and Youth Media Sanctuary).

“Echoes from Lock One” was made possible with support from McCarthy Charities, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s Bender Scientific Fund, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Rensselaer County Department of Employment and Training Summer Youth Employment Program.

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