A new film festival is targeting teenagers to create more opportunities for aspiring filmmakers.
The publishing company Scholastic along with other companies have partnered to launch the All American High School Film Festival, which is taking film submissions until Aug. 1.
The winning submissions will be shown the weekend of Oct. 4, where students will get to see their shorts on a big screen, network, get feedback from the panel of professionals and listen to guest lecturers.
“There is something missing when it comes to giving high school students the opportunity to show their work,” said Andrew Jenks, the creator of festival, based in New York. “It felt like there was this massive void.”
Jenks, a director whose work has appeared on HBO and MTV, founded a local high school film festival in New York City 10 years ago and decided he wanted to expand it across America.
He said the most important aspect of the festival is the feedback provided by a panel of judges that includes actors Kristen Stewart, James Earl Jones and Ed Burns. Students also will get to participate in a college fair and a forum on the latest filmmaking technology.
The South by Southwest Film Festival also has a program for high school student filmmakers, which started almost 11 years ago. The notable festival in Austin, Texas, gets about 100 student submissions.
Festival programmers select about 60 films to show during the two weekends of the festival, said Claudette Godfrey, the short film programmer and operations manager for South by Southwest.
“We want to foster that talent,'' Godfrey said. "It’s an investment into the future group of filmmakers.”
Daniel Matyas, 19, participated in the South by Southwest program twice, mostly recently in 2012.
“There were certain things that are a part of the film world that I didn’t know,” said Matyas, now a student at Yale who is doing summer internships at two local entertainment companies. “I had the opportunity to meet real filmmakers and ask about their experiences.”
The Tribeca Film Institute, an affiliate of the Tribeca Film Festival, offers a yearlong fellowship for young filmmakers that includes workshops, panels, movie screenings and more.
Sundance also has a program for local Utah high school students but doesn't showcase their films. They can see screenings of independent films and participate in a discussion with the filmmaker.
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