Cuesta College’s Workforce Investment Act Youth Employment Program will host a free film premiere at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Palm Theatre, 817 Palm St., San Luis Obispo. Young San Luis Obispo County residents created a short docudrama as part of a guidance counseling program.

“Syxtun – Where The Trail Divides” is a suspense thriller written, directed, produced, edited and starring program participants with help from mentors. Lynn Swanson Manzella and Leonard Manzella facilitated the Changing Lenses guidance counseling program for youth in cooperation with Cuesta College using federal Workforce Investment Act funds.

The Manzellas provided weekly group therapy from October to July using the techniques of psychodrama, group process, and film as a medium of introspection to help participants better understand themselves and the world around them. Lynn is a psychotherapist and former professional singer. Leonard is a social worker, playwright and former actor.

“We decided to use our talents from our past to engage the kids in a group they might otherwise avoid,” said Lynn Manzella, adding that mentors from the movie industry also pitched in during various stages of production. “The results were very rewarding for all of us involved.” 

The WIA Youth Employment Program — supervised by Cuesta College — serves 16- to 21-year-olds to increase educational opportunities, assist with obtaining high school diplomas or GEDs, explore career options, leadership opportunities, and provide meaningful work experiences. Participants must meet specific income and eligibility requirements.

Jay Thompson
(805) 546-3100, ext. 2636

Released Sept. 12, 2012