Following their dreams in an age of pandemic, 4-H youth from 17 states gathered online for the national 4-H film festival. The 10th annual FilmFest 4-H was held on August 1-2. FilmFest 4-H is a national film festival for youth filmmakers, visual artists, actors, as well as any 4-H'ers interested in learning more about the film industry and meeting other creative people from across the country. FilmFest 4-H helps youth become producers, not just consumers, of digital media. Now in its 10th year, FilmFest 4-H celebrated its decade-long run with the film industry workshops and youth-produced films it has become known for.
Two Nebraska 4-H members were recognized for their films.
- Riley Peterson (15) of Lancaster County was awarded 2nd Place Documentary for his video titled Inspiring 4-H Archers.
- Andrew Donlan (12) of Lancaster County received 2nd Place Animation with his stop-motion film, Journey in July.
The 2020 FilmFest 4-H was open to youth ages 11-18, and participants hailed from Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. Video categories included Animation, Documentary, Narrative, One Minute Movie, Promotional, and Voices of 4-H History.
In addition to submitting their own digital video creations, participants also engaged in educational film industry workshops over the weekend. LA-based actress Linara Washington shared strategies from her career working on tv series like NCIS and Grey's Anatomy, and in films alongside Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini. From New York, Emmy winning producer Matthew C. Mills helped youth understand film industry roles ranging from interns to executive producers, sharing career advice from his work with companies like HBO, MTV, CBS, and Food Network. Producer Chad Freidrichs taught youth how to secure archival footage for documentaries, using methods that are both professional and legal. This year also featured the first FilmFest 4-H Screenplay Challenge, with youth submitting scripts that were evaluated by LA-based writer-producer Mariana Hope (Friday Night Lights, The Kicks).