California's Directing Change Program and Film Contest Announces 'All American' as Recipient of 2020 Award for Film or TV Show With Outstanding Messaging Around Mental Health

Showrunner/Executive Producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll and Actors Karimah Westbrook, Bre-Z and Daniel Ezra to Accept Award at Virtual Eighth Annual Award Ceremony

​The Directing Change Program & Film Contest, statewide mental health promotion and suicide prevention program for youth, announces The CW’s ‘All American’ as recipient of its 2020 Award for a Film or TV Show with Outstanding Messaging around Mental Health. The recognition is awarded to the producers, directors, writers and cast of All American, specifically for the storylines of Olivia Baker’s struggle with addiction and journey of recovery and Layla Keating’s experience with depression and suicidal ideation. Past recipients of this award have included the creators and cast of According to Greta, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Short Term 12, and The Road Within, as well as TV shows Glee and One Day at a Time.

“We want to congratulate everyone who worked on the show for providing the stage for such an authentic and in-depth dialogue about mental illness, addiction and suicide prevention that will truly shape this conversation in our communities,” said Jana Sczersputowski, Executive Director and Founder, Directing Change. “With Directing Change, we want to encourage young people to aspire to be courageous and genuine, using their talents as musicians, actors, writers, and filmmakers to entertain, but also to make a difference, such as this show did,” she continued.

Showrunner/Executive Producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll and Actors Karimah Westbrook, Bre-Z and Daniel Ezra will accept the 2020 Messaging Award at the eighth annual award ceremony, which will be broadcasted on Facebook Live May 19 at 7 pm PST. The award ceremony will announce, recognize and screen films from youth winners from across California for their films in the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Matters categories.

Directing Change Eighth Annual Award Ceremony: May 19, 7 – 8 pm on Facebook Live at


Screen the Finalist’s Films:

Vote for Your Favorite Film:

Across California, the program received 1,080 films created by 3,475 youth from 190 schools and community-based organizations. As part of Each Mind Matters, California’s Mental Health Movement, The Directing Change Program & Film Contest engages students and young people throughout California to learn about the topics of suicide prevention and mental health by creating short films that are used to support awareness, education and advocacy efforts on these topics. The program is one of many initiatives that are part of Each Mind Matters’ comprehensive statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.

Contact: Stan Collins 619-518-2412

Available for Interviews:
Student winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on May 19 on the organization’s website and will be available for interviews. (

Source: The Directing Change Program & Film Contest