Calling all filmmakers ages 14-30 who live or go to school in Vermont! Win cash prizes and share your work on Vermont PBS and at film festivals statewide in the 2016 Freedom & Unity TV Vermont Youth Film Competition. The deadline for the second annual competition, which accepts short films with a Vermont focus, is April 16, 2016. To get rules, enter, and watch films from last year’s contest, visit freedomandunitytv.org.
Last year’s Vermont Youth Film Competition drew 89 entries from across Vermont. Young filmmakers were honored in a ceremony at Randolph Tech Center. Selected films were screened at the White River Indie Festival, the Vermont International Film Festival and Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation, this year’s competition will step things up in a big way, with a full-fledged Youth Film Festival at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier on May 7, 2016. In addition, winning films have the opportunity to appear on Vermont PBS, the Vermont Access Network, and at the Vermont International Film Festival in Burlington, the White River Indie Festival, the Brattleboro Film Festival, and the Green Mountain Film Festival.
“We are looking for Vermont-focused films with a range of themes, from history and contemporary issues to personal stories, culture, and the arts,” says contest founder Nora Jacobson. “It’s about helping young people share their ideas and make a connection to the state they call home,” adds contest coordinator Gary Miller.
The film contest is an outgrowth of Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie, a 6-part film on Vermont history and culture created by 30-plus Vermont filmmakers and shown statewide in 2014. Jacobson served as executive producer. “When we finished, we realized that the film was lacking young voices,” says Jacobson. “We created the film competition so those voices could be heard.”
If you’re a young Vermont filmmaker with something to say, get out your video gear, and enter today at freedomandunitytv.org.