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Generation ‘Grow Up’

Carbondale-edited short film about youth activism wins Barcelona festival prize

Griffin Gould in “The Day I Had to Grow Up.”
Courtesy photo
IF YOU WATCH…


‘The Day I Had to Grow Up’ is available for rent and purchase on Prime Video and other video-on-demand platforms.

Krysia Carter-Giez’s editing bay in Carbondale continues to shape stories reaching a global audience.

The film editor’s latest project, the documentary short “The Day I Had to Grow Up,” won both the Best Documentary Short and Best Editing in a Short Film prized from the Barcelona International Film Festival in September.

The 14-minute documentary is a call to action, fast-paced and packed with the youthful energy and passion of the six teen activists it profiles. It tells the story of the youth movement acting on climate change, racial and gender equity and equal rights, gun violence and a host of societal challenges. It centers on the young people whose activism has been shaped by our tumultuous times.



The film takes its title from the speech given by then-18-year-old Jeremy Ornstein outside of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office in November 2018, part of a sit-in on climate change, all wearing shirts reading “We Have a Right to Good Jobs and a Livable Future.”.

“So many times in the past few years I have had to grow up,” Ornstein yelled in the halls of congress in a clip that was soon viewed some 9 million times online, “like the first second and third time I read about kids being shot in schools.”




“The Day I Had to Grow Up” first gained viewers’ attention last fall, when it aired on NBC’s Peacock in advance of the 2020 election. After the European premiere at Barcelona, it went to Prime Video and other video-on-demand platforms, where you can rent it now.

It is the latest collaboration between Carter-Giez and directors Stefano Da Frè and Laura Pellegrini.

The trio previously worked together on the documentary short “The Girl Who Cannot Speak,” which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in its prestigious Creative Minds section. Similar in format, that 21-minute doc followed five women’s stories of sexual abuse and includes women from different countries, ages and walks of life. They also collaborated on “Tu Me Manques/You Are Missing From Me,” a fictional short that screened in 2017 at the Wheeler Opera House’s Sunset Sessions after premiering at Cannes.

Carter-Giez’s previous work includes editing such locally focused documentary projects as “The Last of the Cowboys,” about ranching life in the Roaring Fork Valley; “Fire in the Mountain,” about the mountain soldiers of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division; and AREDAY founder Chip Comins’ “Native Wind.” She also made a short documentary about locally based Huts for Vets, the nonprofit that brings war veterans on backcountry hut trips.

She also won a Daytime Emmy in 1998, shared with local filmmaker Greg Poschman and Carlyle Kyzer, for directing the children’s special “Letters from Africa.”


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