The International Youth Silent Film Festival is one of those events that I love finding out about, and only wish I had known about sooner, because the Midwest Regional (which includes Tennessee) took place back in February, and I know some local aspiring film makers who could/should have participated. Still, the Pacific Northwest Regional is taking place this week in Portland, Oregon and I encourage anyone in the area to check it out.
The basic idea of the Festival is that young people (participants must be twenty years old or under) choose a musical soundtrack from six options based on the genre of film they want to make. They then construct their film to fit the soundtrack. In this way, the festival gives them a good starting point while allowing a lot of leeway for creativity, and also ensures there is some equal ground among the participants. The films cannot have any sound effects or spoken dialogue, and must contain at least three title cards (one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end).
This seems like a great opportunity for young film makers not only to challenge themselves in a way they may not have considered before, but also to get what every aspiring artist needs: a chance to exhibit their work to a real audience. Plus, it gives the rest of us a chance to see and appreciate the creativity and hard work of these young people. And who knows what some of these creative kids may go on to do? They really are the future of film making.
Plus, it just looks to be pretty darned entertaining.
More information can be found at the festival website linked to above, and you can also view past winners there.
Here’s a promotional video for the festival:
And just to give you a taste of what you can expect to see, here is the winner of the Audience Award from last year: