This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The Notebook’s short documentary Glen’s Village, about the impact of childhood trauma, took home three awards from two different film festivals over the weekend.
The film was named best documentary at the Mount Vernon Film Festival in Westchester County, New York, and snagged both the audience award for best medium-length film and jury award for best documentary at #TOFF: The Online Film Festival.
Glen’s Village follows the voyage of Glen Casey from the streets of West Philadelphia, where he sold crack cocaine, to the elite halls of the University of Pennsylvania. It was directed and produced by multimedia journalist Dorian Geiger and co-produced by veteran journalist Paul Jablow.
“Everybody loved it — I love it,” said Osiris Imhotep, the programmer, organizer, and founder of the Mount Vernon Film Festival, about the screening of Glen’s Village.
“I got choked up. That’s a story that can play out in every community. There are kids like Glen all over this place, and they need to see that film.”
At the Mount Vernon Film Festival in New York, Dorian Geiger (right) accepts the award for best documentary next to Ann McDermott (center), filmmaker. (Photo: Jonan Everett, courtesy of Mount Vernon Film Festival)
The showing was followed by a lively discussion with Geiger about the impact of trauma on public school students.
Lowes Moore, a former NBA player, now executive director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Mount Vernon, said he thought the film could be a beacon of hope and an instrument of change for families across the country.
Having grown up with frequent domestic violence in his home, Moore said he is familiar with childhood trauma. “The more films where young people can see themselves rise up out of despair, it will just change our society. They have to see the film.”
Glen’s Village has screened at five film festivals since its release last spring, winning awards at three of them. The film also won for best short documentary at the AMFM Fest: Flagstaff in Arizona.
Visit and join the official Facebook page for Glen’s Village to stay up-to-date on forthcoming screenings and news about the film. The next screening will take place at the Bushwick Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4. Tickets can be purchased here.