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President Obama to host second annual student film fest

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The White House’s East Room will turn into a movie theater for the afternoon when President Barack Obama hosts the second-annual White House Student Film Festival on Friday.

The festival will showcase 15 students’ work based on the theme “The Impact of Giving Back” and reflect on the importance of mentor programs in the arts and entertainment industries.

Entries include a Montana 6-year-old’s take on climate change, an Arizona teen’s film about Navajo water rights issues and an 18-year-old Texan born with cerebral palsy’s documentary about his struggle to get wheelchair accessible doors installed in at his school, per ABC.

Overall, the 15 filmmakers—who were chosen from 1,500 entries—hail from 12 different states and range from ages 6 to 18.

Industry personnel, including actress Hillary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, P.S. I Love You) and 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, are also expected to attend the festival.

The President will announce his “Call to Arts” initiative at the event, an effort to inspire young artists and recruit mentors to help creative youths reach their goals.

The American Film Institute, along with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, have agreed to work with Obama towards achieving one million mentorship hours over the next three years.