Teen Filmmakers Exhibit and Learn at 2015 FilmFest 4-H – article plus photo

The following story is from the July 2015 issue of the 4-H History Preservation Newsletter

This national 4-H film festival, in its 5th year, and the new “Map Your 4-H History, described above,” are examples of “Contemporary 4-H History:” programs which are now creating 4-H history.

Director/actor role plays “getting into the moment” with attendees at FilmFest 4-H last month in St. Louis.

Director/actor role plays “getting into the moment” with attendees
at FilmFest 4-H last month in St. Louis.

Teenage filmmakers from 14 states exhibited 24 youth-produced films at this year’s FilmFest 4-H in St. Louis, June 14-17. Teens and leaders participated in the educational programs at the festival which included viewing on an actual theater screen and discussing the teen-produced films and joining in a series of workshops conducted by film industry professionals.

Among the many highlights:

  • Special pre-release screenings of “Bat Kid” and “Marshall the Miracle Dog;”
  • Director Jay Kanzler and Actors Bill Chott,Cyndi Willenbock and the star ‘Marshall the Miracle Dog’ demonstrated taking the film from conception to the screen;
  • Erica Ibsen, 4-H alum from Montana shared her experience of working as an actress in Hollywood;
  • Patrick Voss of VFX Productions and his team showed participants what they do with creature creation and sculpture to digital animation to create special effects for movies and television;
  • Jeff Lewis, makeup artist and six-time Emmy nominee put youth into the role of the makeup artist; and
  • Trish Seifried, animal trainer, taught youth how to prepare their own dog or cat for a starring role.

The 24 films were pre-selected by judges to be viewed at the festival in five categories: Narrative, 4-H Promotional, Animation, “Voices of 4-H History,” and Documentary. The top three in each category were recognized during the program along with a vote for the audience favorite.

According to Tom Tate, the History Team’s representative at the festival, “2015 FilmFest 4-H prepared future leaders to communicate more effectively in changing times.” An attending adult said “From my perspective as a mom and as a 4-H advisor, this was the best 4-H event that I have ever attended, in 10 years as a 4-H’er myself and 20 years as an advisor — inspirational, encouraging yet realistic, empowering, and just plain cool. Getting to see “Bat Kid” and “Marshall the Miracle Dog” before nearly everyone else was so neat!” And a youth participant joined in with “The amount of information you learn from the guests and the privilege of screening new films is wonderful. What can I say? Even if you don’t think you are interested in film making, if you go they will reel you in.”

The two top place films from the “Voices of 4-H History” category were selected for viewing at this year’s festival:

  • Emmy Beck-Aden, (OH), “Generations Coming Together;” and
  • Brian Sailors and Kristen Khlifi, (GA), “Interview with Doris Belcher.”

The National 4-H History Preservation Program provides sponsorship to FilmFest 4-H as part of its “Voices of 4-H History” initiative. For more information, visit


Filmfest 4-H Brings Imagination To Life

FilmFest-2015Active learning can change dreams to success stories, and teens from across the country will soon gather at “FilmFest 4-H” to do just that. Those who enjoy acting, filmmaking, and stagecraft will learn techniques from a unique group of professionals that they are unlikely to find anywhere else. “FilmFest presenters are all involved in different parts of the film industry,” said Bradd Anderson, a Youth Development Specialist with Missouri 4-H, which produces the national film festival with the Missouri Film Office. “If you’re a creative person between the ages of eleven and eighteen, it’s a chance to meet the professionals and learn how to do amazing things on a teenager’s budget.”

 The fifth annual “FilmFest 4-H” takes place June 14- 17, in St. Louis, Missouri. Workshops include such topics as prop creation, life as a working actor in Hollywood, improvisation techniques, production success, and much more. Previous years presenters have included the editor of the ABC television series Nashville, a makeup artist from the Star Trek series, an Emmy-winning photojournalist, the extras casting director from Hannah Montana: The Movie, cinematographers working with National Geographic and the Outdoor Channel, and many others.

 Participants also have the opportunity to “take a meeting” with the presenters, visiting one-on-one to ask questions and received personalized advice. Equally exciting is the chance to connect with new friends from across the country, who share their technical and artistic interests. “FilmFest 4-H” also features screenings of films made by teen filmmakers, many of whom attend the event. Categories for films this year are Narrative, Animation, Documentary, Promotional and “Voices of 4-H History.” Prizes are awarded to the top films in each category, and the deadline for submissions is May 15, 2015. The 4-H History Preservation Team is again sponsoring the “Voices of 4-H History” Category.

 The costs to attend FilmFest 4-H include an all access pass ($119) for each teen and one chaperone, and a hotel room ($119/night at the conference rate). Finally, lunches are provided on Monday and Tuesday as part of the event, but participants are on their own for breakfasts and dinners.

 For complete information on “FilmFest 4-H,” please visit  http://4h.missouri.edu/filmfest

“Voices of 4-H History” will be a Major Feature of 2015 National 4-H FilmFest

Logo_5th_Film_FestThis year’s FilmFest will take place in St. Louis, Missouri on June 14-17, 2015 at the Hilton Fontenac.

For the third year, the National 4-H History Preservation Program is sponsoring the 4-H history category of the competition. For more information on this year’s event visit: http://4h.missouri.edu/filmfest. To learn more about documenting 4-H history with film, go to the http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com website and “click” on the Voices of 4-H History button in the left-hand menu bar on the homepage or contact: info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com

History Preservation Newsletter
June 2014

4-H History Activities Accelerate in the Summer


2014 FilmFest 4-H, August 3-6 in St. Louis features a professional director who started making movies at age 12; she’ll share film-making from a youth perspective. A six-time Emmy-nominated make-up artist of Star Trek fame will share his creative artistry. Don’t miss the July 1 deadline if you’re entering a video/film.

“Voices of 4-H History” shares updates from Washington, DC and Virginia. The program to record and preserve family and community memories continues to expand across the country.

The 4-H History Website, already a wealth of valuable information on the program’s first 100 years, expands even further with a new section on “4-H Brands” for youth-raised farm products.

Our National 4-H Calendar Art Restoration program has completed phase one – the repair of 25 original paintings from the National 4-H Council’s collection; now phase two kicks in, to preserve the artwork under protective Plexiglas.

Last month we introduced Helen Bovbjerg and Wilbur Jensen, two 4-H’ers who dazzled National 4-H Congress delegates in the 1950s with their exceptional musical talents. This month, we bring you highlights of Wilbur’s musical story from 4-H in a small Oregon town to trumpet performances with Louis Armstrong and other greats.

We recognize those people who have shared their treasured memories and memorabilia, and offer them our most sincere appreciation. If you have something to donate; please e-mail the team at: info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com.

Ready for summer? Enjoy this issue.

Youth Busy Producing Films for 4-H FilmFest 2014

All across the country, teams of 4-H FilmFest_Logo_Smallyouth are working to produce films for presentation at 4-H FilmFest 2014 in St. Louis. “Voices of 4-H History” will be one of the categories that youth produced films will be competing in this August. Films submitted by July 1, 014 will be judged for exhibition during the FilmFest, August 3-6, 2014.

To view the youth produced films from the 2013 FilmFest, go to “Screening Room” at


“Voices of 4-H History” will be a major Feature of Filmfest 4-H 2014

FilmFest_Logo_SmallMissouri is pleased to announce that FilmFest 4-H, the national 4-H film festival, has been GREENLIGHTED for 2014! This year’s FilmFest will take place at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis is home to countless film productions, one of the nation’s top zoos, amazing museums, and of course the world famous Gateway Arch.

Now is the time to get started! The Film Submission form has been posted, and films will be accepted until July 1, 2014. As with last year, there is a 10-minute time limit on films, so that we can screen as many as possible in the most interesting ways. We continue to request that filmmakers avoid scenes that involve youth pointing guns at each other! This will help us give your films the widest possible exposure through 4-H channels, without creating unnecessary complications.

This year’s confirmed categories are:

  • Narrative
  • Animation
  • Documentary
  • 4-H Promotional
  • “Voices of 4-H History”

This special event connects young filmmaking enthusiasts with film industry professionals and with other youth who share those same interests. Like any national film festival, FilmFest 4-H is a “commuter event.” Festival-goers are free to make the arrangements for travel, lodging, and meals that best fit their needs. Your $129 “All access Pass” is your ticket to the entire event. This includes film screenings, field trips, festivities, meetings, exciting workshops with film industry professionals, and other special opportunities. Registration will be online at the FilmFest 4-H website in the weeks ahead. For more information about the event click on: http://is.gd/9Aeb92.

Youth filmmakers from across the nation will present the products of their film making labor on August 3, 2014, in St. Louis. In 2013, youth filmmakers from more than a dozen states exhibited 38 films that they had produced. Finalists’ films from the 2013 FilmFest 4-H can be seen at: http://4h.missouri.edu/go/events/filmfest/2013/films/ror-wy.htm/.

During 2014, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, we are hopeful that youth film makers will assist Cooperative Extension in celebrating this centennial by helping capture 4-H history in their state and counties. Youth filmmakers that complete their productions in time to submit them prior to the July 1 judging deadline, will be considered for FilmFest 2014. Films not submitted by July 1, will be considered for FilmFest 2015.

We hope that 4-H alumni, staff, volunteers, club leaders and supporters will reach out, get involved and encourage 4-H’ers to start up “Voices of 4-H History” media projects for sharing at FilmFest 2014.

Extension Leaders Learn About 4-H History and FilmFest 4-H 2014

In February, Extension leaders from all 50 states, including agents from 200 counties, who attended the JCEP (Joint Council of Extension Professionals) Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, learned about 4-H History Preservation projects and youth film making opportunities. Materials developed by the National 4-H History Preservation Team and the FilmFest 4-H leadership team were shared with all professionals in attendance. Four-H agents and leaders from Missouri and Maryland provided the lead.