BRANSON, Mo.—Young filmmakers from seven states gathered Aug. 1-3 in Branson to train with film industry professionals, network with their filmmaking peers and explore careers at the inaugural Missouri FilmFest 4-H invitational film festival.
“Filmmaking is a great avenue to develop self-expression, problem-solving, critical thinking and other life skills,” said University of Missouri Extension state 4-H youth specialist Bradd Anderson, who coordinates the event. “If a young person wants to explore a career in the film industry, learn how the industry works and ask lots of questions, what better venue is there than a film festival?”
Festival award winners included Shawna Scott of Jefferson City, Mo., who won first place in the narrative category for her film “Piercing the Mask” and third place in the documentary category for “Robot Rumble.”
Film industry professionals led workshops covering lighting, sound, acting for the camera, television documentaries and stop-motion animation. Presenters also offered strategies to accomplish many of their techniques on a teenager’s budget. Presenters included David Houlle, owner of St. Louis-based Sight & Sound Production Services, who has worked as a lighting technician on a number of Hollywood productions; award-winning producer and journalist Russ Weston; and television producer Steve Siwinski. Filmmaker Aaron Holdmeyer of St. Louis led a workshop on stop-motion animation, and Scott Arthur Allen, an actor, acting coach and casting director, conducted a workshop on acting for the camera.
“Missouri 4-H was thrilled to host our first invitational film fest,” said Ina Linville, 4-H program director. “It provided an opportunity for youth to showcase both creativity and technological skills to tell stories or address local issues.”
FilmFest 4-H was planned and facilitated by Missouri 4-H and the Missouri Film Commission, and sponsored by the Missouri Arts Council, MU Extension, the Miller Family Foundation, Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley, Bill Lennon of Lennon Productions, and the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For more information, see http://4h.missouri.edu/filmfest. For information on joining 4-H, contact your MU Extension Center or visit http://4h.missouri.edu.
A trailer for Shawna Scott’s prize-winning submission “Piercing the Mask” is available on the Jefferson City News Tribune website at http://www.newstribune.com/videos/2011/aug/11/13/.