Climate Week and UN General Assembly

With our four new climate films by teens from Ukraine, Germany, India and Kentucky BYkids is proud to participate in a NationSwell event with the CEO of Patagonia and to attend the UNITE 2030 with the next generation of young changemakers from around the world to end poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change by 2030.

“RETURN DATE: UNKNOWN” named a Finalist for the Japan Prize

Congratulations to Tymur Tsapliienko (director) and Rom Barnea (mentor) for being chosen as a finalist in the prestigious Japan Prize.

The Japan Prize works to advance the quality of educational content around the world and support films that foster people’s aspirations to further learn, reflect, empathize and take action for the betterment of the world. There were 391 entries from 55 countries and we are all thrilled to be part of the Youth Division finalist. Congratulations to the other six films. WATCH TRAILER HERE.

BYkids Ukrainian Filmmaker Comes to NYC

17-year-old Ukrainian filmmaker, Tymur Tsapliienko, came to New York in June to screen his new film RETURN DATE: UNKNOWN at the Youth Collective Film Festival at Lincoln Center in front of 300 NYC-area high school students and he won Best Film.

The next week, the United Nations Association of New York hosted a sold-out screening and panel discussion including Tymur, Rom Barnea (his mentor), Holly Carter (BYkids executive director), Susan Bissell (Harvard FXB Center for Human Rights and former Global Chief of Child Protection at UNICEF) and Pablo Espiniella (Chief of Staff at the U.N. Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children).

This film is part of the BYkids climate change series, airing on PBS this fall. It is a moving portrait of a boy coming of age —  his relationship to himself, to home and his father. Tymur eloquently shares what it means to be a Ukrainian refugee and personalizes the high cost of the war and the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Tymur’s dad, Andrii, is considered to be Ukraine’s leading war correspondent having covered Iraq, Afghanistan and now the war at his home. We were thrilled to have Andrii with us.


Congratulations to Ndèye Fatou Fall and her BYkids: WALK ON MY OWN for winning Best Youth Documentary Short at the Women’s Voices Now Festival. Thanks to everyone who brought this important film to the world.

The head of the jury says, “WALK ON MY OWN was made by 13-year-old Ndèye Fatou Fall from Senegal. She is just the embodiment of women’s freedoms and the importance of education for girls…This film really shows how important these generational, cultural shifting conversations are and it highlights how much further we have to go in achieving true women’s rights. So again, congratulations to Ndèye Fatou Fall for WALK ON MY OWN.”


BYkids is honored to win a silver Anthem Award for Best Education, Art & Culture in Film, Video, Television or Show. BYkids: Passport to the World was selected from nearly 2,000 submissions from 43 countries and celebrates our excellence for purpose and mission-driven work.


Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition design manager and BYkids superfan, Dan Kershaw, generously hosted a private tour of exhibitions including the Native American show and a screening of AGAINST THE CURRENT for the BYkids Board and Associate Board. It was a very special afternoon.

Four New Films are in Production for Season Four

All four new films are in production, each with a climate crisis angle made by a teen filmmaker:

  • Tymur Tsapliienko, 17, a Ukrainian refugee, pushes to raise awareness of how the Russian invasion of Ukraine and dependence on fossil fuels are related.
  • Helena Marschall, 20, leads Germany’s environmental youth movement.
  • Diya Payal, 14, advocates for sustainable farming in India.
  • Keith Griffith,15, a Kentucky beekeeper, builds community connections.

Tymur’s Director’s Statement:  “The process of making this movie was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. The chance to tell my own story as well as the story of my nation, Ukraine, to others proved itself incredible. Working alongside my mentor Rom Barnea broadened my vision on filmmaking and storytelling, leaving amazing emotions and days to remember.”

Tymur escaped his home in Ukraine when the Russian army invaded and helps us understand the human cost of dependence on fossil fuel.

BYkids Joins Aspen Ideas Festival

Holly Carter proudly represented BYkids at the 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival for invigorating conversations about the issues that shape our lives spanning politics, business, science, the arts and education. From a moving tribute to the late Secretary Madeleine Albright by Hillary Rodham Clinton, to David Brooks (New York Times columnist) talking about empathy, to David Rubenstein (Carlyle Group) teaching us how to invest, it was four days packed with inspiration for future films and new friends.

BYkids to Keynote at the UNC World View Conference

Calling all North Carolina teachers to join BYkids at the UNC World View’s K-12 Global Education Symposium 2022 on Thursday, October 13 at 11:45 am for “Transforming Learning with a Senegalese Girl’s Story,
BYkids: Real-world films for kids, by kids

Global Education Symposium: Re-imagining Teaching and Learning for a Better World, is a full day event will explore pressing global issues impacting our world and address how educators can provide the tools and strategies to develop agency in students. 

BYkids is screening WALK ON MY OWN, a short documentary made by a Senegalese teen who was not forced into child marriage, and Holly Carter is discussing the transformative power of film’s made by kids around the world and how BYkids films and education material can help build crucial skills for students.


BYkids Associate Board Powers Up This Fall

BYkids is thrilled to welcome the unique and fresh faces behind the Associate Board! From Kenya to New York, these young professionals are BYkids ambassadors and help promote our goals through events and fundraising. Kicking off with a strong start this fall, the board raised over $1K with a birthday fundraiser to support upcoming filming. 

Please welcome the three co-chairs Jake Hart (LA), Olivia Levenson (NYC) and Hannah Rosenwein (LA) and Noelle Durkin, Ben Goodfriend, Khaddija Jobe, Qetsiyah Lynch, Alex Mabred, Arianna Mastro, Isabel Sheinman and Hannah Wolloch.