I got a call from Donelle Blubaugh, Director of Education at PBS, inviting us to present Departures: L.A. River at SILVERDOCS. She said that the screening was part of the Adobe Youth Voices Initiative and that she was trying to organize a panel of young producers to present projects. I immediately thought of Mo.
I met Mo a few years back working at the IML creating remixes of Pac-Man that used South L.A as a maze, and he was already a force to reckon with. Seriously. As Donelle put it to me when she met him in D.C., "Mo is the smartest and most idiosyncratic 17-year old I have ever met in my life."
Mo has the strategic intelligence of a diplomat, but, as he is the first to tell you, diplomacy is not really his strong suit. This is partly because being catapulted from Bangladesh to the inner city of Los Angeles as a child taught him to be blunt, partly because he's an impulsive teenager, and partly because he's been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.
The secret of my relationship with Mo is that, from the very moment I met him I have taken him very seriously. Mo has a deep appreciation and understanding of media and has a keen capacity for analysis. He's also an incredibly hard worker, and gave Departures: L.A. River his all. So I wanted to reward him and his work with a trip to D.C where he could shine bright and be among peers.
Mo is still a teenager though, and needed a chaperone if he was going to represent us all the way in DC. Who better to go with him than Justin Cram.... our red headed stranger!