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MONTREAL, JUNE 8, 2015 — The old Cinémarobothèque Theatre (1564 rue Saint Denis) will host a video screening of short films written, directed and edited by 12 at-risk youth involved in Productions Oracle’s ( employability video production program, funded by the Forum Jeunesse de l’ile de Montréal. This will take place on Thursday, June 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The goal of the Productions Oracle Employability Program is to help very marginalized youth have access to the job market and inspire them to find work or return to school. This objective has been achieved via three types of programming:

  • Employability workshops with partners, the Carrefour jeunesse emploi centre-ville and YES Montreal;
  • A video production component that provides youth with a very hands-on and interactive project involving the completion of a raw, edgy, professional quality video, directed and edited by the youth themselves. Through video production, the youth learn skills that are directly transferable to the work place.
  • Health and wellness workshops including nutrition, in partnership with the Cuisines collectives du grand plateau, physical fitness doing yoga and fitness training, as well as workshops on time and budget management, anger management, communication skills.

“We work closely with Batshaw Youth and Family Services and received referrals from youth all over Montreal,” says Alyssa Kuzmarov, founder and director of Productions Oracle. “There is a big need for youth who are not in school and not working to have programs that provide them concrete skills as well as career exploration activities to motivate them to find a meaningful path and their place in society. We have great success working with and inspiring these very hard-to-reach youth.”

Ms. Kuzmarov explains: “Many youth, in our system, fall through the cracks, especially boys. They are smart and talented and creative, but perhaps did not find encouragement or the proper guidance to help them make the transition from high school to what comes next. Most of our youth would be at home doing nothing productive had they not joined this program.  Our youth have faced everything from problems at school, immigration issues, being shuffled from group home to group home, trouble with the law, gang violence, abuse and neglect.  They are resilient and creative. They have found ways to cope with the tough issues they have faced. Through this program, all of our youth have discovered or rediscovered passions and have been given concrete tools to pursue their dreams one step at a time.”

Individual success stories (names have been removed for confidentiality purposes):

  • A. did not graduate from high school. He was labelled as a troublemaker and started hanging out with the wrong crowd and living up to the label he was given. Through this program, he has discovered his passion for music as well as writing. He loves basketball and would like to become a role model and help younger youth find positive outlets for their frustration.
  • A. was shuffled back and forth between his native country of Cuba and Montreal , but was denied access to school and eventually lost interest. He is a dancer and a very positive role model. He is interested in finding a way to finish his high school and pursue his love of dance all the while teaching youth and helping them develop their passions.
  • S. was bullied very badly in high school. He is a very creative and talented young illustrator and writer. He just sent off his application for a school in Vancouver for 2D animation. He was very isolated before starting our program but now has made friends who share his passion and feels more confident about who he is.
  • A. has been living in group homes since the age of five. She has trouble motivating herself but discovered, through our program, her interest in aesthetics. She hopes to finish high school in the fall and go on to get a diploma in aesthetics.

PRODUCTIONS ORACLE is a non-profit organization that provides youth and their families of all cultural backgrounds with a creative mode of expression in English and in French, with the goal of producing professional quality films. Youth are trained in the art of video production and empowered by sharing their experiences. The youth we work with are encouraged to develop their talents as well as the values of respect and tolerance.
Productions Oracle was founded by Alyssa Kuzmarov and Jean-Michel Sauri in 2006 and has produced over 40 educational, promotional and social videos for schools and community centers across Montreal. Productions Oracle produced several videos in collaboration with the NFB and a short documentary with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Productions Oracle was one of 22 organizations chosen out of 145 applicants to receive a grant from the Forum Jeunesse de l’île de Montréal. We have developed a model program that works!

For a demonstration of our work, see this video:

For more information, visit our website:

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213