What is WYFF?
The Westport Youth Film Festival is an empowering and inspiring outlet for young artists. What makes us unique is that we not only showcase the art of local, national and international teenagers in a professional setting, but that local youth have a hand in every aspect of the production of the festival.
Because town lines tend to divide us into more homogeneous groups, we often forget about the incredible socio-economic, ethnic, cultural and philosophical diversity that exists in Connecticut. WYFF brings together students from Norwalk, Westport, Bridgeport, Wilton, Stamford, Fairfield, New Haven and Weston to create a dynamic, professional level film festival.
Our mission is to provide young artists with agency for their voices and in doing so to foster the next generation of great filmmakers. We aim to bring teens from different places and experiences together to take part in the creation of a professional level film festival. WYFF empowers young people to expand our concept of what we are capable of doing.
Our goal is the production of our film festival. The 2012 Westport Youth Film Festival will be held June 2nd at The Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Our festival centers around screening the art of teen filmmakers. Submissions come from local, national and international youth artists.The Westport Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and your donation is fully deductible as provided by law.
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WYFF Alumni Testimonials
"After participating in WYFF I feel confident with my leadership and organization skills. Putting on the festival is a group effort and through that experience I have learned to work better in groups. These skills have been vital in my professional life because films are made by an ensemble not just a director."
-Ann Lupo, WYFF '08-'09, Audience Choice Award (Supermassive Black Hole), Currently a student at Tisch, NYU.
"To be recognized and appreciated is a great feeling. For me, winning the audience choice award helped my already large ego swell enough so that I'd keep working and making movies. That kind of positive confirmation was very helpful in giving me the motivation and endurance that's helped me in my screenwriting career."
-Jake Emanuel, WYFF '04, Audience Choice Award (Story of David), Currently a Screenwriter at Paramount Studios.
"WYFF taught me everything from what a good film is (and just how good high school films are) to how to raise money, manage a team, and be professional. These skills have enabled me to do much of what I have done since. Particularly with 18 in '08. WYFF taught me these skills, the kinds of things you never learn in high school or college, things you can only learn by doing something big and audacious. Once you do that, you can do anything. It only comes with something like WYFF which has real stakes, we have to put on an amazing film festival every year that people all over the world are excited for, that's a lot of pressure, and if you can pull it off--and we did-- you can do anything."
-David D. Burstein, WYFF Director & Founder, NYU, Founder of 18 in '08, Currently writing a book on Millenial Generation
"My experiences with (WYFF) have given me the confidence to shape ideas into reality and collaborate with my peers and other artists. WYFF was my first foray into the mechanics of an arts organization...what better introduction is there than to build your own!"
Emma Wiseman, WYFF Founder & Director, Currently an Actor and Director.
"WYFF was a great introduction into film festivals for aspiring filmmakers. It was very inspiring and helpful to screen a film in a theatre for such a large audience."
-Max Pachman, WYFF '03-'04, Currently a Director.
"WYFF made me the person I am!"
-Chris Casey, WYFF Founder & Director, Currently a producer, director, & president of SilentDog Films.
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