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Tell your stories at local film fest
Everybody has stories to tell, and the Yuma Library wants to hear them — and see them.
The upcoming Greenlight Film Festival (see schedule below) will celebrate film, especially by young people, starting this month and culminating in April with screenings of shorts crafted by locals.
This is the first year for the festival, which teen services librarian Bryan Summers said he hopes becomes an annual event. Summers and his supervisor Kate Griffin thought up the festival, believing Yuma to be home to some creative people.
Summers said any genre of film, including documentary and drama, will be considered for screening. Movies should be kept to about five minutes or less.
Films are due April 1 and will be judged by a panel. The finalists will be shown at an outdoor viewing at the main library on April 20.
The library is a place to learn and a natural place to explore film, Summers said.
“It's all about stories. The library is a place where we have stories and narratives.”
The festival is mainly for teens, but families and younger children can submit films, too. Summers said one of the library's young regulars, a fifth-grader, is planning to adapt “The Hobbit” using Lego pieces.
“We'll try to have some really fun short films,” he said.
Leading up to that is a historical presentation by the Yuma Film Commission on Thursday. Later this month, area filmmaker Daniel Golding will show his documentary “Songs of the Colorado,” which tells of the music, stories, language and history of the Yuman-language tribes along the Colorado River.
In February, aspiring young storytellers will have a chance to take hands-on lessons from Golding when he offers film production workshops geared toward ages 13-24, with the students' projects to also be part of the big final event.
Golding will help students go from ideas to shooting, editing and presentation. He will offer classes in town at the Main Library and on the Quechan Reservation in Winterhaven. Golding, who is Quechan, often teaches the art of filmmaking to young Native Americans, both on and off reservation, but this course is open to all ethnicities.
“It's really kind of a neat moment to watch them see themselves,” he said.
He said kids today are tech-savvy, so they easily take to the cameras and editing software. One less tangible, but plenty valuable, thing they learn in his workshops is how to enjoy the rewards of following something through from inception to completion.
“I think that's something that can be applied to anything in their life.”
The library is presenting the series in partnership with the Yuma Film Commission, Kwatsan Radio, Quechan Indian Nation and Arizona Western College.
All events are free, and filmmakers don't have to attend programming events to submit a movie. The project is supported with $17,000 granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Agency.
January film screenings
• Jan. 17, 7 p.m. — History of the Yuma Film Commission, Main Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive
• Jan. 26, 1 p.m. — “Songs of the Colorado” documentary by Daniel Golding, Main Library
February workshops with Daniel Golding
The Art of Filmmaking:
• Feb. 2, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Main Library
• Feb. 9, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Quechan Community Center, 604 Picacho Road, Winterhaven
• Feb. 16, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Main Library
• Feb. 23, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Quechan Community Center
There is no charge to attend the workshops, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information, call Bryan Summers at 373-6487.
April film screenings
• April 20, Main Library (Centennial Heritage Area)
Hillary Davis can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6857. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSHillaryDavis or on Twitter at @YSHillaryDavis.