Li­brary’s Teen Film Fest en­ters its ninth year

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT - By KRIS KIELICH kkielich@ches­

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 ask@cc­, 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.

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