Curtain Rises On Youth Film Festival

Tomorrow, Westporters will flock to beaches, ball games and the dump.

Many others will head indoors.

Westport Youth Film FestivalThey’ll joyfully spend all day in darkened rooms, watching dozens of films made by teenagers.

For 6 years, the Westport Youth Film Festival has been created and managed by youngsters.  Coordinator Sandy Lefkowitz — one of the few adults involved — says that sometimes means things are “not as professional as I would like.”

But, she notes, “the kids are incredible — and learning.”

WYFF — which exclusively screens films by high school (even middle school) students — lacks the budget of festivals run by colleges and community organizations.

But those other festivals use WYFF as a resource.  And — try as they might — they don’t attract the number of films WYFF does.

Because of WYFF, Sandy has developed a curriculum called “The Art of Filmmaking” for Bridgeport’s Bridge Academy charter school.  It provides interaction between filmmakers in various towns, and gives Bridge students a chance to enter WYFF.

This is the 1st year of its 3-year program (funded by Westport Sunrise Rotary and the Fairfield County Foundation).  Sandy calls it “very successful.”

As is the Westport Youth Film Festival.  For tomorrow’s full schedule (10 a.m.-5:20 p.m. at Town Hall; 10:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m. at Toquet Hall; awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.), click here.

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