Mayor Frank Jackson held a press conference this afternoon in his Red Room to announce that 15-year-old Angileece Williams, a sophomore at Saint Martin de Porres High School, is the winner of the Scenarios USA "What's The REAL DEAL about Masculinity" Writing Contest. Each year, this national non-profit organization selects three communities to host a contest inviting local youth to submit stories on issues that young people address on a daily basis. Students in Cleveland — along with students in New York City and the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas — had been selected for this (and last) year’s Scenarios USA writing contest. The writers of the winning stories are paired with professional Hollywood directors to turn their stories into short films. “This shows that young people in the city can do amazing things,” Jackson said before introducing Scenarios USA founder Jill Paulsen who spoke briefly about the organization’s interest in “motivating youth.” Saint Martin teacher Ann Klonowski said the school “could not be more delighted” that Williams had won the contest. New York-based writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (Roll Bounce
, Undercover Brother
) will direct Williams’ script. He talked about his Cleveland connections (his uncle was a CSU professor) and joked, “I am not here to try to poach LeBron James.” Lee said Williams’ 15-page short story about a troubled boy named Eliyah was “poetic, cinematic and dramatic,” and he called it “an extraordinary piece of work.” “It’s a story that I can’t wait to start collaborating on,” he said. While Lee and Williams have already spent a weekend scouting locations, filming isn’t slated to start until May. Williams, who described herself as a “regular teen who wanted to make a difference,” will devote the next month turning her story into a screenplay, and Scenarios organizers hope to screen the short film at next year’s Cleveland International Film Festival.