Students' video on 'Kung Fu Joe' wins best documentary at festival


Last updated 12/17/2019 at 9:27pm

Steeltown, a South Side nonprofit that provides digital media arts and education, has announced an episode of the "Reel Teens: Pittsburgh" Web Series won The Best Student Documentary at the Boston International Kids Film Festival on November 17.

Kung Fu Joe, the winning film, was directed by Violet Wright and Doria Focareta. Violet, a senior at Oakland Catholic High School, loves to watch movies and make them. Doria is a funky young filmmaker with big dreams of creating content she can love just as much as the content she consumes. The two have come together to create this short documentary about a South Side Pittsburgh legend, Kung Fu Joe. The film can be streamed on The Reel Teen's YouTube Channel (

Hilary Finkle Buxton, director of American Public Television Exchange and festival judge, Called Kung Fu Joe a "wonderful portrait that left me wanting more. It is both entertaining and informative."

"We could not be more proud of Doria and Violet" says Wendy Burtner, Steeltown CEO. "Both their creativity and technical knowledge of digital media production shine in this piece. Each of them has a bright future ahead."

Boston International Kids Film Festival shows films "for, by, and about kids." The festival is a program of the Filmmakers Collaborative, a nonprofit that encourages and supports the making of great films by people of all ages and levels of experience. More than 65 films from 12 different countries were accepted into the festival this year.

The Reel Teens web series is produced as part of Steeltown Film Academy. Steeltown Film Academy is an educational apprenticeship program that provides training, internships and a paying job for high school students interested in film and digital media arts. Steeltown also provides resources, fiscal sponsorship and referrals to local independent filmmakers. Visit for more information.


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