Submit to International Youth Silent Film Festival

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The International Youth Silent Film Festival is taking submissions right now! Young people, take note! Make a movie without having to record or edit any audio.

This festival was founded in 2009 by Jon JP Palanuk after attending a live theatre organ concert. Perhaps a live organ concert doesn’t make everyone think of silent film festivals, but I’m glad it did for JP. This festival is a competition, and it’s for filmmakers 20 years or younger. Here’s a link to the Submission Guidelines.

The festival’s website has a selection of three minute music tracks from ten different movie themes or genres. You choose a track you like, make a film that matches the length of the track, and submit. You can’t edit the music or have dialogue, but you can do old silent film style titles where some dialogue is shown written on cards that you show between shots. Or your film can simply need no words at all.

As a heads up, you can get all the information you need to submit a film from the text on the website. They’ve also got some short videos with people talking about the festival and the impact it has. Sadly, those short videos aren’t captioned. (Yeah, there’s the YouTube auto-generated captions, which a lot of people think are captions. But don’t be fooled. Well, if you rely on those, you will be fooled because they make no sense.) I reached out to the festival about captioning and haven’t heard back. It’s a real bummer. I would think a festival like this could easily be extremely accessible and welcoming to D/deaf and hard-of-hearing filmmakers. But not captioning the videos where people discuss what it’s like to participate well, it makes it feel a whole lot less welcoming. I wonder if we can get a critical mass of filmmakers and people in allyship to demand captions and an inclusive vibe at this festival!

Check out winning short films on the IYSFFOfficial YouTube Channel.

Here are the dates for submissions and screenings.

Midwest Regionals Deadline: February 15, 2016. Screening: March 12, 2016
Pacific NW Regionals Deadline: April 15, 2016. Screening: May 23 and 25 2016, Portland, OR
Global Awards Show: June 8, 2016, Portland, OR

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