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'Dear America:' A letter from Generation Z on gun violence wins student Emmy award

Short film wins in Public Service Announcement category

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A short film addressing gun violence from Generation Z's perspective has won a student Emmy. 

"Dear America: A film by Generation Z" won in the Public Service Announcement category and was submitted under Montverde Academy, where the video was filmed.

The National Student Production award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a prestigious and competitive honor. The organization says its awards are intended to be an incentive for the pursuit of excellence in television journalism and focus public attention on outstanding achievements produced by college and/or high school students.

"Dear America: A film by Generation Z" went viral for how it tackled the issue of gun violence.

The nearly 4-minute film was posted on YouTube last October, and has since been viewed 17,058 times.

The film was created by Central Florida students Molly Smith and Sage Croft alongside Elizabeth Buzbee and Allison Fitzgerald.

[WATCH BELOW: 'Dear America' creators discuss creating the short film]

Smith said she had the idea after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016. She wrote a poem about the event. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, she rewrote her original poem to be from a student's perspective. She decided to partner up with Croft to turn her words into a film.

"Dear America, a school near me was attacked on Valentine's Day. I watched the television in horror, blood boiling in my body as I saw the death toll rise," reads a script from the short film.

The video takes the perspective of elementary, middle and high schools students addressing recent gun violence tragedies and how it has become normalized in their schools and everyday lives.

"When did children become secret soldiers? And when did school become a battlefield?" the students in the video question.

The team says the film was fully written and produced by teens. You can watch the award-winning film below.


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