Esteban Pedraza (pictured left) says he’s inspired—inspired by “people I know”—which happens to be the title of his personal, award-winning short film.
This summer, the 20-year-old student from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University won first place in the age 18-25 filmmaker category at the Tony Blair Faith Foundations global film competition called Faith Shorts.
In the film, Pedraza tells how his mother, Marcela Gomez (pictured), moved to Nashville, Tenn., when Pedraza was a toddler and raised him alone. He also includes his best friend, Chris Thomason, who struggled with drug addiction. Each overcame life’s darkest moments through their faith.
“It’s a little crazy to put your faith in something you can’t see,” says Pedraza, whose short explicitly displays what God can do with even a mustard seed of faith. “I wanted to inspire people to think about that faith.”
Pedraza’s entry was one of more than 200 worldwide, and judges included actors Hugh Jackman and Jet Li, and governmental leaders Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Blair, former prime minister of England.
Winning is “really humbling,” says Pedraza, who was honored along with other winners at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London. “Only professors are supposed to see your work at this age.”
Video: People I Know