Young movie makers to take the spotlight Sunday

movie reel stockThe community will get the chance to celebrate the filmmakers of the future this weekend at the Junior League of Greenwich’s second annual Greenwich Youth Film Festival (GYFF) on Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. at the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library.

The purpose of the festival is to encourage high school students in Fairfield County and Westchester County, N.Y., to express themselves through the art of film. Students had the opportunity to submit original films during the entry period earlier this year. Some of the topics highlighted in this year’s films include the Newtown relief effort, bullying and partying sober.

The GYFF event will include speakers such as film writer and producer David Levien, Blue Sky Studios animator Joe Antonuccio and Island Def Jam Music Group president Steve Bartels. The festival will feature screenings of the top 32 films in five genres — Animation, Creative, Documentary, Music Video and Public Service Announcement.

New this year, a fest freshman film award will be given to a freshman who shows great potential, selected by actress Amanda Seyfried. The event will conclude with an awards ceremony during which the top winners will be announced and awarded cash prizes and unique opportunities to advance their exposure to the film and music industries.

Awards include $1,000 to the grand prize winner, $500 to the other four genre winners, $100 for all second place genre winners, $50 for all third place genre winners, and $250 for best freshman film. The animation winner will also receive a tour of Blue Sky Studios, the Greenwich studio responsible for hits like Ice Age, Rio and the upcoming Epic. The music video winner will receive a visit to the set of an upcoming Island Def Jam Music Group music video and a private meeting at the company’s headquarters. The Creative genre winner will also receive the opportunity to shadow a producer on the set of an upcoming digital comedy web series for Above Average Productions, the digital division of Broadway Video.

Genre winners were selected by a top lineup of judges including Steve Bartels, Blue Sky Studios, Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, actress Melissa Joan Hart, Clayton Pecorin and Ms. Seyfried. Finalists across all genres represent 16 different towns and 14 high schools across Fairfield and Westchester counties.

The GYFF is open to the public and free of charge. For tickets, visit Jlgreenwich.org.

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