Spielberg, Scorsese, Hitchcock — those are just some of the world’s most famous directors, and once again the library in Voorhees is providing an opportunity for teenagers to potentially one day join those ranks with the fifth annual M. Allan Vogelson Library Teen Film Festival on Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
The annual film festival promotes and encourages the creativity of local teens by providing those in sixth through 12th grade, ages 11–18, the opportunity to write, direct, shoot and edit their own short film.
Teens then submit their films for a screening during a red carpet event in front of a live audience and panel of judges where entrants can speak about their work or simply let it speak for itself.
Teen librarian Christina Orbanus runs the event and said the festival is a great way to show off the talent of young filmmakers, as well as get more teens into the library as it adapts to a more technologically oriented world.
“The biggest thing is we want teens to know that the library is not just about books,” Orbanus said. “It’s a place to come in, meet new people and experience new things.”
This year, the library added a new aspect to the festival when on Monday nights from late June through July there was a series of classes on movie making where teens could prepare for the festival by learning about the different aspects of film such as editing, script writing and animation.
Orbanus said the teens’ response to the classes has been excellent, and it’s provided teens the chance to meet new people, get used to speaking in front of a crowd and learn to become more comfortable with showing their work to others.
“It’s been excellent,” Orbanus said. “The fact that I’ve seen the same faces come back each week, that I think speaks volumes for their enthusiasm for the program.”
One of those same faces is 14-year-old Diya Goyal. She said she attended every class, and as a writer, something that first interested her in the classes was the aspect of learning about scripts.
“I just saw it and I was like ‘I never made a movie before’ and I was just really interested,” Diya said.” I saw the contest paper, and I’m really into writing, and I saw the scripting writing part, and I was like ‘I have to come.’”
Another teen who enjoyed the classes was 14-year-old Nick Suarez. He said he attended the classes because he has a passion for movies, and especially enjoyed the animation class because “The Lego Movie” is one of his favorite films.
“I like the way it was set up because I saw like the behind the scenes and how it brought out all the characters and all the little setup,” Suarez said.
For those teens who did not attend any of the classes, they can still submit an entry for the festival.
Content must be suitable for viewing by all ages, the film must be three to 10 minutes in length, the members of the film crew (directors, writers, actors, etc.) must be 11 to 18 years old, and the film must be submitted to library in DVD form, along with a completed entry form, by Aug. 15 at 5 p.m.
A film festival entry form with more information can be picked up in person at the youth services desk at the Vogelson Library during regular business hours or can be emailed to those interested by contacting Orbanus at email@example.com. Those looking for more information can call Orbanus at (856) 772–1636 ext. 7360.