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Festival To Celebrate Youthful Filmmakers


For release: 16 November 2006

Festival To Celebrate Youthful Filmmakers


As the weather warms up and the family camcorder comes out of the cupboard to capture the summer's fun, young New Zealanders are being offered the chance to shine as filmmakers.

For the second year running, the Auckland-based not-for-profit organisation, Youthtown, is inviting 13 to 18 year olds from across the country to enter its 'Reel Short Film Festival'.

To qualify for entry, films need to be between two and ten minutes in length. This requirement is, however, being relaxed for films originally made for other events or as school projects. Fiction, documentary or animated films will all be equally welcome.

Entries can be sent to Youthtown any time between now and 14th February 2007. The festival itself is to take place on 2nd March 2007 at the South Seas Film, Television and Animation School in Birkenhead on Auckland's North Shore.

"We want to encourage young people to express and explore their creativity, using the now widely accessible digital technology, "says Programme Co-ordinator, Rebecca Duell.

"The Reel Short Festival is a non-competitive event and we plan to show every entry that meets our basic technical and artistic specifications. As a result, most entrants can expect to have their work shown to a rather larger audience than if just viewed by close family or friends.

"The only competitive element in the festival will be our 'Movies with a Message' contest, to be held in association with the Wellington-based Global Education Centre. The contest will be specifically for films dealing with themes of global significance, such as the environment, discrimination or war and peace. A highly appropriate prize packet, including fair trade chocolate and movie tickets, will go to the winner," she adds.

Youthtown is a long established Auckland charity, which seeks to help young people express themselves, develop skills and build self-esteem, in safe, open and stimulating environments.

Filmmaking has, in recent years, become a popular component in the mix of activities Youthtown offers to the thirteen plus age-group. The organisation's flagship film event, the 'Youthtown Short Film Challenge' is held each August and is becoming a recognised seedbed for teenage filmic talent.

"Young people increasingly see filmmaking as something that we do rather well in New Zealand and they like the thought of having a slice of the action. Many of them also find film to be an amazing way of expressing themselves, whether they're in front of or behind the camera. It's a great pleasure to help them become involved with something so stimulating, challenging and enjoyable," says Rebecca.


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