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20:09 Film Festival challenges students to tell short stories

What would you do in 20 seconds?

High school students in New Richmond answered that question last week in the form of film.

The SPACE, 156 High St., is hosting the 20:09 Film Fest, a film festival open to the public for viewing on May 7 at 7 p.m.

"It's something we've wanted to do since The SPACE opened," said Courtney Moe, creative director at The SPACE. "Video is a medium that youth is engaged in and we wanted to invite them to participate to showcase their creativity in a form of a film fest."

The students were asked to create films in one of three categories -- make me laugh, for a cause and first hand capture, she said. The films could be edited or non-edited.

"We hope this becomes an annual event," Moe said.

The SPACE's mission is to invite our community to celebrate and participate in creativity, she said. The film festival fits directly into that mission.

Students were asked to create 20 second films using any type of recording device -- cell phones, webcams, camcorders.

Each film will be judged by a panel of six judges, who will view the videos prior to the public viewing. Final judging will take place May 7.

"The videos are 20 seconds," Moe said. "They might miss something if they only see the film once."

Twenty seconds might not seem like much time, but that's why that limit was chosen, Moe said.

"We made it a 20-second film festival so it would appeal to more students," she said. "It's not a big time commitment."

About 35 students signed up to participate in the competition, Moe said.

"We're very happy with the response of the students," she said.

Future plans could include opening the film festival to other high schools in the area.

Somerset recently finished a film festival that required students to film a public announcement.

"That would fit in our first-hand capture category," Moe said.

Admission to film festival is free and the public is invited to attend.

Winners will be chosen in each category along with best overall film.

The winning films will be featured again on May 8 when new artists are revealed at The SPACE.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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