by Terri Garlick
The Westport Youth Film Festival (WYFF) will begin accepting submissions on January 1, 2011.
WYFF, May 13-14 in Fairfield, is the premier film festival for teenage filmmakers. Films should be submitted in one of six categories: drama, comedy, documentary, music video, animation or experimental. Films can also be uploaded through the WYFF website, or via flash drive or DVD. And filmmakers must be current high school students.
Founded in 2003 as an outlet for aspiring high school filmmakers to showcase their films and receive mentor-ship, guidance, and support from film industry professionals, the WYFF is held each spring in Fairfield County and is a two-day festival that showcases approximately 50 student films in the six different categories. There is also a highly-coveted Audience Choice Award given out on the last day of the festival.
The winners in each category receive a Tiffany & Co. crystal award and $250 cash prizes courtesy of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Over the past 8 years, WYFF has received over 2,000 film submissions throughout the United States, and from countries around the world, including China, Indonesia, India, and Israel.
WYFF is unique because it is the world’s only youth-run high school film festival, where students are directly involved in the management of the organization. Each year, a WYFF Board of Directors is recruited from around Connecticut. The high school students on the Board manage festival operations from marketing and fundraising to technical production. The Board members are mentored by a WYFF Advisory Committee of professionals from the local community. The Advisory Committee includes industry professionals such as Andrew Karpen, President of Focus Features, and Doug Tirola, President of Fourth Row Films.