Teen filmmakers from across the region attended the inaugural Youth Film Day, produced by Hofstra University and the Gold Coast International Film Festival, where they explored careers in film and television. Students in grades 7-12 had the opportunity to take hands-on filmmaking classes and workshops with Hofstra faculty, Gold Coast International Film Festival staff, and award-winning filmmakers. The event was held March 3, in the world-class film and television production studios of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication on the Hofstra campus.
More than 100 student filmmakers participated in workshops taught by experts in cinematography, editing, sound design, visual effects/CGI, drone filmmaking, stunts and fight choreography, and critical film analysis. Students also attended a panel, “How to Make a Short Film,” led by award-winning filmmakers David Paterson (Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia; Lionsgate’s The Great Gilly Hopkins); Ramfis Myrthil, Daniel Sorochkin and Oscar winner Mara Kassin.
All students attending Youth Film Day were invited to submit short films to be judged by a jury comprised of industry professionals. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran joined all the attendees for a special screening of the entries nominated for best film.
Long Islanders Tori Kaller from Paul D. Schreiber High School (Port Washington), Jaiden Moreno from Lynbrook South Middle School (East Rockaway) and Miles Serpico of Mattlin Middle School (Plainview) each took home an award for Best Film—Honorable Mention. First Place—Best Film was awarded to Keegan Tindall from Northern Burlington Regional High School (Chesterfield, NJ) and Second Place—Best Film went to Austin Segal from Ridge High School (Basking Ridge, NJ).
Caroline Sorokoff, director of the Gold Coast International Film Festival, was proud to partner with Hofstra on this special event.
“Our goal with Youth Film Day and all we do to support young filmmakers is to give students a clearer picture of the industry, and for those who decide to pursue careers in film or television, some practical skills and experience,” she said. “There is no better place for students to gain such experience than from the world-class faculty at The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and the award-winning filmmakers that work with our festival.”
“It was great to see the students really enjoy the workshops. Like most people, they were fascinated with learning more about directing, but I don’t think many were aware of all the crafts and creative functions associated with making a film,” added Professor William Jennings, of Hofstra’s Department of Radio, Television, Film, who helped organize the event. “Hofstra also got to show off our amazing instructors and facilities and in doing so, raise the profile of our film and media programs.”
Youth Film Day is a part of Hofstra’s Regional Scholars program, which offers talented middle school and high school students the opportunity to explore new academic interests with scholars and college students as mentors, to spend a day or two on a college campus, and to gain an understanding of what collegiate-level work entails. The initiative supports Hofstra’s mission to encourage and nurture intellectual curiosity and learning through a free and open exchange of ideas.
The Youth Film Day program is also an extension of the Gold Coast International Film Festival’s Young Filmmakers Program, which solicits short films from students in grades K-12 from all around the country to compete for a spot in its annual November festival. Submissions are currently being accepted for the 2018 Young Filmmakers Program. Hofstra University is the official University Partner of Gold Coast International Film Festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center’s year-round film programs.