The Power of a Pen, The Story of A Sign

“Sometimes all it takes is a stroke of a pen. A beautiful film by Alonso Alvarez Barreda.”

This was the caption for the amazing video I received via Facebook from my NextNow collaboratory friend and founder Bill Daul…And in my overloaded chaos I might have missed it if he hadn’t added, “worth 5 minutes of your time, I promise. Trust me.”

Unbeknownst to me, Historia de un Letrero (Story of a Sign) won the National Film Board’s 2008 Online Cannes Competition where 650 filmmakers from 40 countries submitted their work. And yes, it is MORE than worthy. Word of mouth, trust, and online community trumps generic mainstream media critiques every time.

In this age of conversation, the pivotal role of social media networks in leveraging personal connections is profound. It literally determines what does and doesn’t get seen or supported. If my dear friend Bill hadn’t sent me that link and note, it may have been years before it hit my radar. Instead, I was so moved, captivated, and inspired by it, that I must’ve hit ‘replay’ at least three times in the hour.

Alonso Alvarez Barreda, you have reinforced my very purpose here at Shaping Youth…to remind people that words DO count, marketing CAN be meaningful, and we can USE the power of media for positive change! Encore!



  1. Nicely put Amy! Thanks…for trusting me to check out the video!

  2. Absolutely, Bill…as always.

    And say, I even got to ‘friend’ Alonso on Facebook in the process! I’m going to ‘viral’ it to key FB pals, as it is SO worthy and inspiring!

  3. Alonso Alvarez Barreda says

    Thank you so much for your lines. It is definitely a GREAT way to start my day!

    I always wanted to make this films, because I truly believe that this story carries within a message of peace, love, and above all… HOPE!

    I am honored and very happy that you liked it, and that you decided to post something about it! Thank you again!

    Please feel free to write at any time.

    I wish nothing but the best for you.


    Alonso Alvarez Barreda

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