Virginia Film Festival Announces New High School Filmmaking Competition

April 17, 2012 — The Virginia Film Festival announced today that it is expanding its Community Outreach and Education programs to include a new high school filmmaking competition.

The annual festival is presented by the University of Virginia's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

"Action! The Virginia Film Festival's High School Director Competition" will welcome submissions from rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders from throughout Virginia. The grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000. Each of two runners-up in the competition will be awarded $500. All three winning films will be screened at the upcoming 25th annual Virginia Film Festival, scheduled to take place from Nov. 1-4, along with one participant badge providing access to festival screenings and the festival's Filmmakers and Sponsors Lounge.

The competition is the latest addition to the festival's Community Outreach and Education program, which also includes the Young Filmmakers Academy, a filmmaking initiative for elementary and middle school students. Other highlights of the program include the annual Family Day festivities and special middle and high school screenings, both during the festival and throughout the year.

"We are very pleased to announce this new initiative and to provide high school students from throughout Virginia a chance to flex their creative muscles as filmmakers," Virginia Film Festival director Jody Kielbasa said. "Community outreach is a critically important part of our mission as an organization. And, especially as we celebrate this important milestone year, we see this competition as adding another layer of involvement and interaction that we think is a win-win for everyone involved."

The rules for "Action! The Virginia Film Festival's High School Director Competition" include:

• Students may submit a single application per person or team. Teams may consist of no more than two directors. There is no limit to the number of participants performing in or contributing to the film.
• All films must be the original work of the students submitting them.
• Films are limited to five minutes in length, including credits.
• Films must include a relevant theme and may not include profanity, graphic violence or sexual content.

To apply for the competition, students must send a completed official entry form plus three DVD copies of the film. All copies of the film must be provided on a standard DVD, which can be played on a DVD player, and not only on a computer.

Applications and complete rules for entry can be found here. Completed applications must be postmarked by Aug. 17, and winners will be notified by Sept. 28.

For information, contact Jane Freeman, the festival's Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, here.

The Virginia Film Festival's Community Outreach & Education Program is supported by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation's Community Endowment.

– by John Kelly