Uncovering the Next Generation
Austin Youth Film Festival puts the focus on young movie minds
Prepare your peepers for the sixth annual Austin Youth Film Festival. Founded and hosted by two film educators – Alexandra Thomas of Headwaters School, and Austin School of Film Community Director Carrie Cates – the festival was created to give students the opportunity to showcase their moviemaking chops and be judged by seasoned filmmakers. Each contestant will have a shot at a $1,000 "Best of Fest" grand prize and other awards such as a free badge to the Austin Film Festival filmmaking camp, gift cards to local film stores, and more. This year, for the first time, it will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller.
Students across Central Texas are encouraged to use their creativity and submit unique short films that can range from a music video to documentary-style. "There is no limit to the category of film that is submitted," said Thomas. "We'll find a place for it."
The event will not only have screenings of the prize-winning shorts for bagdeholders; it will also feature fun activity stations open to the public where guests create their own 16mm films. "We're gonna have more space than ever this year because we're dividing the screenings into two rounds," Thomas said. "And you don't need a badge. You can come meet filmmakers, network, and connect with people."
Every year, the contest provides a platform for young filmmakers to demonstrate their moviemaking skills, and allows them to meet and learn from professionals in the field of film. At previous festivals, that has meant meeting filmmakers including producer Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood), and directors Richard Linklater (Slacker), Kat Candler (Hellion), Bryan Poyser (Lovers of Hate), and PJ Raval (who just screened his new documentary Call Her Ganda at Tribeca). This year, the festival will feature Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jeff Nichols, the writer and director of popular films such as Loving, Mud, and Take Shelter, who will judge the competition and be part of an eagerly expected Q&A, as well as receiving the prestigious Golden Reel. Badgeholders will get a chance to meet Nichols alongside other prominent local luminaries, such as Ya'Ke Smith (Wolf, the upcoming Heavenly), and PBS's On Story editor Daniel Trevino.
So, whether you're competing in the film festival, hoping to brush shoulders with established filmmakers, or simply attending to support emerging young moviemakers of Austin, the Austin Youth Film Festival is a great way for young film fans to take their first steps behind the camera.
Austin Youth Film FestivalMay 19 @ Alamo Drafthouse Mueller
Badges and info at www.austinyouthfilmfestival.com