“Take that broken heart and make it into art.”
Meryl Streep reciting a quote by the late Princess Leia
The arts are a powerful medium for change. Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to meet with two young people on a mission to use their talent and creativity in the arts to show the world what’s truly possible. Keiran Valla, who seems to be channeling a young Bob Dylan, is the brilliant mind behind the vision of “Delinquent,” a dark coming of age drama where the main character experiences a real crisis of conscience. At the recent premiere of “Delinquent” at the New Filmmakers Film Festival in LA, I spoke with Keiran about his first full feature film and the message he was intending to deliver. It was an exciting evening with the arrival of the beloved Meredith O’Connor, a young woman using her celebrity platform to travel the world sharing her anti-bullying message. Meredith has become a force empowering people to believe in themselves, to stand up for what’s right, and to end bullying and abuse. As Meredith shared with me in the interview, “Art can really transform and change societies.”
“Delinquent” is a powerful film with a message of redemption. The arts are a means of channeling one’s inner pain into something beautiful. Both Meredith and Keiran have stretched themselves by going after their dreams no matter how impossible they seemed at the time. This was Keiran’s first venture into creating a full feature film which took every ounce of heart and soul to bring it into movie theatres around the globe. An incredible dedication comes through the work of this young singer and this talented filmmaker. We are the lucky beneficiaries of these courageous young artists sharing their gifts with the world.
Meredith lives her life with a beautiful philosophy that’s centered around helping others by being authentically vulnerable in sharing her own pain. She has bravely taken that pain and channeled it into brilliance in her music and her videos. She came to watch “Delinquent” as she believes it’s vital to support emerging artists and filmmakers. Meredith isn’t shy in using her voice to influence young people around the world to begin thinking differently. She encourages both men and women to embrace their “weirdness.” Her message strives to open our mindset to seeing our differences as beautiful rather than strange. She believes that we all have value and those that bully or take advantage of others were most likely the recipients of bullying themselves. Her music video, “Stronger,” featuring Garrett Clayton and Madeline Stewart, a young woman who despite Downs Syndrome, made an enormous splash at New York Fashion Week on the catwalk! The video shares a powerful message of how adversity strengthens us, encouraging us to embrace our differences.
Keiran has quite a reputation in the short film world and this was his first time venturing down the path of creating a full feature film, which is a massive undertaking. Keiran clearly embraces Meredith’s philosophy and pushes the limits by continually challenging himself and his creativity. It’s no small feat to go from making short films to an entire feature movie. This takes enormous belief in one’s self to overcome any internal resistance. Keiran has crafted a powerful movie which brings you into the inner world and conscience of the main character who struggles with the concepts of right and wrong. In the end, he has to face himself and his inner demons to make some difficult choices along the way.
Meredith believes in supporting those that use the arts to do good things and spread powerful messages. Keiran has achieved that in his brilliant film, “Delinquent.” Here are two young people changing the world by utilizing the arts to spread messages that begin to open and expand our own consciousness. We are blessed to have such incredible role models. Thank you, Keiran and Meredith, for the role that you are playing to shine a light on the arts and it’s value to society.
Meredith O’Connor is a young woman on fire to change the world through her voice, her music and her story. She is passionate about spreading her anti bullying message. She can be found at Meredithoconnormusic.com and on Instagram @meredithoconnor. She is on Twitter @meredithter and on Facebook.
Catherine Grace O’Connell is a Fashion/Lifestyle Blogger living in Los Angeles. Like Meredith, Catherine believes in using her platform to empower and inspire men and women to believe in themselves and to go after their dreams. She can be found at CatherineGraceO.com and on Instagram @catherinegraceo. On Twitter, she can be found @catherinegraceo and on Facebook.
Originally published at medium.com