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3 DePaul University film students who grew up in CHA head to Cannes Film Festival

DePaul student filmmakers heading to Cannes film festival
DePaul student filmmakers heading to Cannes film festival 00:24

CHICAGO (CBS) -- From Lincoln Park to the south of France; a big opportunity for three young film-makers.

They're headed to the Cannes Film Festival. Isis Gullette, Unique Moore, and Christal Westmoreland met at DePaul University during a filmmaking program.

Together, they just finished their first professionally-produced short film, "I Am Not Your Token," a short film about a Black high school student's struggle with her efforts to keep her place with the popular crowd when her former best friend is targeted by their racism.

"This will be such an incredible boost to me as a filmmaker," said Westmoreland. "It will also show my entire community, especially all the little Black girls, that if I can do this, even their wildest dreams can come true."

Their trip was organized with help from the Chicago Housing Authority.

Chaz Ebert, president and CEO of Ebert Digital, and the widow of late film critic Roger Ebert, lived in CHA housing as a girl, and has been a longtime supporter of the filmmaking program at DePaul. She came up with the idea to send students to film festivals, and is a co-sponsor of the trip to Cannes.

"This is the type of transformational experience that breaks the sky wide open for what is possible," she said. "It is also an opportunity for them to feel that they are welcome and worthy of all spaces, even the most prestigious film festival in the world."

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