September 30 • 2020

Every Child Matters
As young stars become influential celebrities, their voices grow more and more impactful.
To help them develop their capabilities with this powerful gift, we’re partnering with Canadian film organizations on Orange Shirt Day, September 30th, to inspire empathy and respect for groups and people especially targeted with unkindness.  

As with all sensitive topics, we encourage members to become familiar with the purpose of Orange Shirt Day, and have a meaningful age-appropriate family discussion about how young stars can encourage respect and kindness for all cultures.

Academy Members' Message of Healing

Various 2020 Academy Members were invited to prepare a message of love and support for their peers and for survivors of unkindness. Together with our partners, we are proud to share this capsule message of healing:


What can a young star do?

Inspiring change in dignified ways is a big responsibility that comes with stardom.  
Much begins with education, family discussion, and exploring the perspectives of others.  

We’re pleased to share a curated list of recommended films suggested by Academy Members.
It is our wish that the lessons lend toward meaningful family discussions and inspiring celebrity voices and lifestyles of kindness and empathy.


Rated PG
For All Ages
Animation Adventure

In a world where animals have no intention of eating each other, a little bunny who grew up on a farm leaves her family to pursue her dreams of being the first bunny cop in Zootopia. While there, she runs into a con artist fox named Nick Wilde, and they have to work together to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the peace of Zootopia.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Persisting in reaching dreams.

How profiling others is harmful.

Celebrating others for what makes them unique.

Importance of identifying and rejecting discrimination.

Breaking barriers can lead to great things.

Smoke Signals

Rated PG-13/ 13+
For Teens
Family Drama

The first movie written, produced and co-directed by Native Americans with an almost exclusively Native American cast, Smoke Signals illuminates the nature of forgiveness.

A young Native American is seen as a nerd in his reservation. When a family tragedy takes him on a road trip, he learns about life, love, forgiveness and finding peace. Smoke Signals is a modern glimpse into the contemporary Native American world.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Importance of making peace with people.

Importance of making peace with the past.

Respecting the struggle of others.

How forgiveness can be healing.

McFarland USA

Rated PG
For Children & Teens
Family Drama

Based on a true story of one of the poorest agricultural communities sustained by Latino immigrant farm workers in America.

Based on actual events of the first McFarland championship team and their determination and discipline, MacFarland U.S.A. shows the celebration, accomplishment, and boosted self-esteem of the students, their families, and their entire community for generations.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Importance of not judging others by the outside.

The dangers of taking concerns at “face value”.

Importance of Teamwork and respecting others as a foundation of support

The importance of persevering despite initial setbacks.

Glory Road

Rated PG
For Teens
Family Drama/Sports

Set in the American Civil Rights era with racial tensions Glory Road begins with the struggle of African Americans and a high school coach invited to combat discrimination, prejudice and racism by seeing the value in people, rather than their ethnic diffrences.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Why mental strength is as important as physical strength.

Importance of teamwork over selfishness.

Importance of adjusting one’s ways or attitudes when they realize it may not be right.

Verbal insults can be proved wrong through positive accomplishments, instead of with retaliation.

Akeelah and the Bee

Rated PG
For Children & Teens
Family Drama

Along with support from many “coaches” and her community, a young girl develops her talent to compete in the National Spelling Bee.  Overcoming mockery from peers and her disadvantaged home circumstances, Akeelah continues to develop her talent and inspires more than just herself by achieving success.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Success does not come without help from others.

Determination and Hard Work go a long way.

Importance of celebrating others’ wins and being a believer in others’ gifts.

One is never too small to make a difference in another’s life.

Overcoming fear opens a new world of opportunity

Life is Beautiful

Rated PG-13
For Teens

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from dangers and discouragement.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

The challenge to make life as beautiful as one can despite circumstances.

The importance of not joining in with harassment of individuals.

The value of finding moments of pleasure even during difficult circumstances.

Understanding that one’s perception affects their reality, and the importance of developing balanced views of others and themself.

Remember the Titans

Rated PG
For Teens
Family Drama/Sports

Based on the true story during a time when American. Schools integrated black youths with white schools, Remember the Titans follows a newly appointed African-American football coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated “family”.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Don’t be afraid to stand out.

A bad attitude is more harmful than it seems. A good attitude is incredibly powerful.

Success takes sacrifice.

Giving time and energy to developing real friendships is important.

Unkindness from others can be overcome by developing Integrity.

Hidden Figures

Rated PG
For Teens

The story of a team of mostly unknown female African-American mathematicians who played such an important role at NASA, they served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history.
Facing racism and sexism with dignity and resolve in a world dominated by white men, three women quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside some of history's greatest minds. 

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Importance of a Support Group.

Importance of focusing on what one can control.

Doing such a good job, people can’t afford to lose you.

Finding meaning in one’s work helps to work better.

Importance of keeping up with technology used in your industry

Value of being persistent to meet key people and not depending on the gatekeepers.

Patch Adams

Rated PG-13
For Teens
Family Drama

The true story of a man determined to become a medical doctor to help people uses unconventional methods of treatment to bring joy and laughter to patients.

Dr. Adams’ approach is a reminder that everyone is human, and all deserve kindness and compassion.

Possible Family Discussion for Orange Shirt Day

Importance of putting effort into showing compassion.

How compassion can be shown in one’s Industry.

How compassion can be shown in non-industry situations.

Importance of forgiveness to move on in life and in relationships.

To introduce youngsters to the wealth of great Canadian films, Reel Canada is a charitable organization that celebrates Canada through film.  

In partnership with the Encore+ YouTube Channel, visit their blog post (FILMS FOR ORANGE SHIRT DAY) for film recommendations to specifically honor survivors of Canada’s Residential School System and indigenous communities.
(Note: Some films have thematic reenactment scenes that could be frightening or offensive to some viewers. Parents are cautioned to research content prior to family viewing.)

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Canada
The Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

You can share your love and support in a video using #OrangeShirtDayYAA and we’ll repost!

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Young Artist Academy™
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