Harvey Weinstein is big (in more ways than one).
And Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Bette Davis, Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe are just a few of the boldface names who at one point called Westport home.
But you can spot mega-mogul movie producers and Oscar-winning actors many places besides Westport.
One thing you can’t find anywhere but here is the Westport Youth Film Festival.
Organizers call it “the only youth film festival in the world run for high school students, by high school students.”
And while Hollywood is known for hyperbole, this is Westport. We’ll take their word for it.
The 7th annual WYFF returns this weekend. The schedule is remarkable — and what’s even more remarkable is how few Westporters know about it.
This Friday and Saturday (May 7-8), 65 high school student films — chosen from over 200 submissions, around the world — will be shown at Town Hall and Toquet Hall. Prizes will be awarded to 9 of them.
Friday night’s highlights include 8 movies from “Peace It Together,” a Canadian program involving Canadian, Palestinian and Israeli youth — plus Q-and-As.
On Saturday — in addition to the 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. film screenings — there will be musical performances on Main Street, free popcorn and soda at Oscar’s, and t-shirt sales. At 9 a.m. there’s a bagel breakfast with WYFF organizers and filmmakers.
The films range widely: politics and current events; music; romance; comedy; self-discovery (hey, they’re teenagers). At 5 p.m. Saturday Toquet hosts “The Roy Orbison Project,” spotlighting WYFF alumni including Jon Karmen and Jake Andrews of Rubydog fame.
I have no idea what the Roy Orbison Project is, but if it’s half as good as his voice, I’ll be impressed.
Tom Seligson, a Westport-based Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, keynotes Saturday’s 6 p.m. awards ceremony (Toquet).
WYFF is one of those Westport events you shouldn’t miss — though it also may be one you never heard of.
And even if the tagline — “the only youth film festival in the world run for high school students, by high school students” — is not true, this one may be: “The only youth film festival in the world in a town without an actual movie theater.”