(Clearwisdom.net) Twelve-year-old student Isabelle Kitze's documentary "The Persecution of Falun Gong" won the first place award in the 10 to 13 years old group at the third Lark Theater Youth Film Festival in Larkspur, California on April 27, 2008.

Isabelle Kitze wins first place with her documentary film "The Persecution of Falun Gong"

A total of 20 films among the submissions were selected to participate in the film festival. The selected films were less than 15 minutes and produced by youth between 10 and 18 years old. The films were categorized into musical, documentary, feature story and environmental and divided into two age groups of 10 to 13 and 14 to 18. All submissions were evaluated by judges on technical quality, topic and interesting content. The winners were announced and awarded during the festival.

The judges of this year's film festival included theatric writer Daniel Handler, movie critic Samantha Creath, movie producer and writer James Hirsch, and movie producers Jordan Livingston and Alexandra Pelosi.

Isabelle Kitze had won a first place with a humorous film "Over Easy" two years ago. This time, when she heard people were arrested and tortured and even killed for their faith in Falun Gong, she wanted to know more about it.

"I want to help the audience to learn what Falun Gong is and why Falun Gong practitioners persist with their faith in the face of persecution," said Isabelle Kitze.

To produce this film, Isabelle interviewed three Falun Gong practitioners in Chinatown San Francisco. When it was screened on April 27, people were shocked at the persecution going on in China.

The film documented three Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured in the Chinese Communist regime's persecution. Falun Gong practitioner Chen Ruilan was jailed three times in China. She was forced to stand for a long time, kneel down for long time, sleep on a bare cement floor, and her head was banged against a stone wall. The police warden threw her to the ground and injured her side. Even after she was released, the police kept harassing and monitoring her.

Another practitioner named Ms. Chen talked about her experience in China. A few years ago, Ms. Chen went back to China. When she met with two local Falun Gong practitioners, Chinese police arrested her. The police told her that three people meeting together was illegal. Because she is American citizen with an American passport, she was released after one week. The police threatened her not to tell anyone. Ms. Chen said the Chinese Communist regime is still persecuting Falun Gong, even though it made a fake promise to improve human rights in order to win the right to host the Olympics in 2008. Ms. Chen said this shows that one can never believe the words of the communist authorities.

Shen Shuming and her husband were persecuted in China and later rescued to America. Ms. Shen said they were persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. Since the year 1999 when Falun Gong was unlawfully banned, their phone was tapped. The local police often broke into their house and harassed them. During a very cold winter, the police broke their windows and surrounded the house for seven days. Their basic rights and freedom were severely violated.

Ms. Shen said that even after they fled to Thailand, the Chinese Communist regime continued to persecute them by having them followed, having photos taken of them secretly and even hiring thugs to break into their apartment to threaten them.

This documentary will participate in other film festivals in the United States.