Writer / Kara Reibel
Photography / Provided
The 7th Annual Teen Film Festival will be held May 5 at the Greenwood Library. Creator Emily Ellis, Head of Reference and Teen Services, is the Chair for the event.
“The Teen Film Festival is all about supporting and encouraging the creative efforts of the teens in our community. It offers a platform for inspiring filmmakers, directors, script writers and actors to show off their talents and receive recognition for what they are creating,” shares Ellis. “And what they’re creating is pretty awesome.”
The Greenwood Library reaches outside of Greenwood to invite the greater area of Johnson County and surrounding areas, including Roncalli, Martinsville HS and Perry Meridian HS. Others are welcome too.
The Teen Film Festival is a collaborative program with the Johnson County Public library system. The highlights are shown at the Greenwood Library in the Teen Room and Community Room. Last year, 80-90 people attended with as many, if not more, expected to be in attendance this year.
A montage of highlights is featured with everyone recognized. The winners of each category have their films shown in their entirety.
The awards categories include music video, book trailer, feature film and documentary. Special awards, based on content, could highlight “best villain,” “best monster” or “best costume.”
Last year’s winner, Kyle Bastin, is now a junior at Greenwood High School. His short film, “Alone,” told the story of a teen who struggled with depression and self-harm. After releasing his film on YouTube and showing it at the Festival, he had multiple people come up to him, all of whom he’d never met before and shared with him how much the film meant to them.
“This meant the world to me, even more so than winning the Festival,” confides Bastin. “I hope I can continue helping people and displaying inspiring new ideas through my films for the rest of my life. I am very excited to enter into this year’s Festival with my film ‘Persecution’ which will tackle the idea of a Catholic high school student who is also gay.”
Film is a powerful means of expression, and with the technology available and reasonable pricing, films can be made on a mobile device. The Teen Film Festival encourages the creative process for these kids, welcoming middle school students with the category of “Up and Comer” for the Festival.
“The Teen Film Fest was such a great experience for me,” shares Bastin. “My whole goal as a filmmaker is to create pieces of art that can have positive impacts on someone’s life, and the Johnson County Teen Film Festival was a perfect outlet for that.”
“The students are thoughtful, hilarious, introspective and passionate about what they are creating,” shares Ellis. “It also gives us an opportunity to thank the teachers, media specialists, librarians, friends and especially parents who support these amazing and creative teens. We really feel like we get to know each student and their family with each entry.”
“I would ask anyone who has the slightest interest in filmmaking to enter and to not give up after their first year. I entered in the 2014 Film Fest with my film ‘Visions,’ and I didn’t have the slightest chance of winning, but it was still a great experience,” says Bastin.
Bastin plans to attend film school after graduation.
Teen Film Festival
• Greenwood Library