Library’s Teen Film Fest enters its ninth year
ELKTON — The Elkton branch of the Cecil County Public Library is gearing up for the ninth year of its Teen Film Fest, and once again, the floodgates are completely open for any genre to be entered.
The Film Fest is open to any teen ages 11 to 17 who has an idea for a film running five minutes or less to be filmed on an actual camera (no cell phone cameras allowed). Other than that, the films are only limited by creativity (and a PG rating). The final deadline for any teen interested in submitting a film is this coming Friday, March 16.
“A few of our teen librarians came up with the idea for this film fest because a lot of teens in the community were experimenting with film,” said organizer and library Youth Services Coordinator Katelyn McLimans. “We wanted to have a place where they could submit those films and display them to the community.”
McLimans has been involved in the film fest for four years now, and the creativity and growth she’s seen from every film and teen participant has been consistently improving.
“We’ve had teens who have gone through this film fest every year and it’s amazing to see how their films have evolved and how much more sophisticated they’ve become,” she said.
In the past, the library supplied a theme for all films submitted, but in recent years, McLimans noticed that those guidelines were limiting to the filmmakers.
“We found that it restricted them, so for the past few years we’ve scrapped that,” she said.
Every film will be shown on March 22 at the Elkton Library, with a panel of judges determining the best films of the day and awarding three cash prizes to the top films, with the top prize being $100.
But beyond the fun of film- making and the continuance to foster a real growth of arts in a community where it has thrived and continued to spread, the film festival is all about supporting the hard work and talent of the coming generation and for the community to recognize the creative young people in the midst of Cecil County.
“The reason I think the public should come out is supporting these teens and their work,” McLimans said. “They can see what these teens can really do, and we make it a fun night. We have a popcorn machine and decorations...there’s a lot of love and support from the community.”
The skills learned from creating these films go beyond imagination and storytelling as well. There are genuine technical and artistic skills at play that can go on to play a factor in many careers.
“These teens are learning editing and filmmaking skills, and they’re learning how to mix art and technology,” said McLimans.
Any teen between the ages of 11 and 17 who is interested in submitting a film, the rules and more details can be found at this link: https://www.cecil.ebranch. info/ teens/ teen- film- festival/
Films can be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or be brought in on a flash drive to the Elkton Library by March 16.
The audience is full of community members who come to support the creative teens involved in the film fest.
One of the former judges at the Teen Film Festival is Council President Joyce Bowlsbey. She will be back on the panel this year.