Oct. 24--Thirteen-year-old Sam Cryan has experienced what it's like to be both in front of and behind the camera.
Through the Alamance County Youth Film Festival, the Turrentine Middle School student hopes to encourage other young people to pursue filmmaking as well.
The second annual film festival is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Graham Cinema, 119 N. Main St., Graham. It is a fundraiser for Christmas Cheer of Alamance County, which supports 1,200 needy families at Christmastime each year. Admission is free, but donations of cash and new, unwrapped toys for needy boys and girls will be accepted. Raffles and giveaways will take place during intermission.
Sam began the film festival last year and it earned $250 and a box of toys for needy children in the county last Christmas.
Submissions are now being accepted and the short films must be no more than 10 minutes in length with categories to include elementary, middle school, high school and college. All types of short films, including stop motion, live action, cartoon, animation and documentaries are welcomed.
Budding graphic designers are encouraged to design T-shirts as part of a contest. Those designs (two colors only, please) can be emailed to Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although the film festival is open to county residents up to 23 years old, Sam said he also hopes entries will come from across the nation. Special awards will be given to the best North Carolina films in each category.
Sam has appeared in local productions including Alamance Children's Theatre's "Sherlock Holmes" for which he created the promotional spot.
Mark Cryan, Sam's dad, said the Graham Cinema was "the perfect place for the film festival" since they watch a lot of movies there.
The festival is being promoted through the Alamance-Burlington School System. Sam's mother, Dale-Anna, is a fourth-grade teacher at Eastlawn Elementary School and his brother, Ty, is a sixth-grader at Turrentine Middle School. Sam said this would be a great way for students with Language Arts projects to expand the assignment to include documentaries and other film projects.
Elijah Chester, a Dove and Grammy award-winning singer, who has appeared in a number of films including as an extra in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," will serve as one of the judges for the event. Chester also teaches classes at Studio 1 in Burlington.
Deadline for film submissions is Nov. 15 and forms are available at appletreeproductions.weebly.com/acyff.html. or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/301733266633367/.
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