Teen-produced films showcased at Reel Expressions festival


Teen-produced films showcased at Reel Expressions festival

An evening of youth-produced films, media arts appreciation and fundraising attracted approximately 400 people Nov. 4 for Spark Media Project’s Reel Expressions International Youth Film Festival at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie.

The event — which opened in conjunction with Poughkeepsie’s First Friday community celebration — began with a welcome speech from Mayor Rob Rolison outside under the Bardavon’s marquee, according to a written release. Rolison and Walkway Over the Hudson Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart provided certificates of merit to Spark Media Project students who participated in a separate Walkway-sponsored, film-editing competition.

Roberto Morelli of Poughkeepsie was the grand prize winner of the editing competition and received a cash prize for his film “Poughkeepsie: Isn’t it Wonderful?”

“Reel Expressions continues to be such a critical asset, both for young filmmakers seeking exposure for their incredible films, and also for Spark Media Project as a way to raise awareness about the importance of youth media,” Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, Spark’s executive director, said in the release. “It’s so important to encourage and support our next generation of media makers, and we’re grateful to our generous supporters who continue to make this significant evening a great success year after year.”

A reception was held in the Bardavon’s lobby, where guests viewed a virtual reality film created by Spark students, created animations with special software and participated in a social media campaign called #ReframeReflectRespect that promotes healthy relationships. Refreshments were provided by Alex’s Restaurant.

The film festival featured a showcase of 13 short films, selected from more than 100 submissions created by teens. The film sequence lasted about 70 minutes and awards were given out after the screening.

Alexia Salingaros, of New York, won Second Runner-Up for her documentary “Of Gods and Bells.” Jeeyoon Lee, of Virginia, took First Runner-Up for the animated “American Seoul.” Grand Prize winner Azure Allen, of North Carolina, received $500 for her nonfiction animation film, “One Day on Carver Street.” Each winner received a Golden Sparky 3-D printed trophy, designed by Spark youth and printed at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

After the awards, Spark staff launched their annual fundraising campaign with “#WorkInProgress,” a film created by Spark’s apprentice production house Forge Media. The evening concluded after a question-and-answer session with youth filmmakers.

For more information, visit SparkMediaProject.org.

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Source: Poughkeepsie Journal
Teen-produced films showcased at Reel Expressions festival

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