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


“Voices of 4-H History” Opens Doors for Hawaii 4-H

4-HHPP_2015_02_Pg5In 2014, two Youth-Adult Partnership teams consisting of two teens and one adult participated in the “Voices of 4-H History” project for Hawaii.

According to Joan Chong, HI Extension service, the teams from Kona and Maui participated in a basic training that covered interview questions and techniques, project design and management, pre-production, filming, and camera techniques.

Because of training time constraints, the teams were also encouraged to connect with the local Community Access Television (CAT) to assist in editing and piecing the video together, and CAT was happy to help out. They offered classes in basic video production, camera operation, editing, lighting and studio production. Once the participants became certified producers at the CAT studios, the use of the television equipment and facilities were FREE! All the Youth-Adult Partnership teams needed to do was ask for help. When asked about the project, we found that youth participants not only learned video production but also gained knowledge about 4-H and the effect it has had on others.

 Here are a few quotes from the youth:

  • “I felt that this project allowed me to experience what it felt like to be a part of 4-H many years ago. Through their stories, I can see how 4-H shaped people’s lives and how it helped 4-H’ers to ‘make the best, better!’”
  • “The best part of participating in this project was being able to learn more about 4-H and its history. I also learned a new skill of how to edit videos on the computer. I enjoyed meeting new people and learned how much 4-H meant to them.”
  • “It opened my eyes and gave me a better understanding of 4-H. It was heart-warming to listen to their experiences. Times were so different, yet very similar in many ways.”
  • “It provided us with so many learning opportunities. Several of the people we interviewed told us how much it meant to them to have their story told.”

 One Adult participant shared observations as well:

“Participating in this project provided me with the opportunity to have a Youth-Adult partnership; it was a unique experience working side-by-side with the youth. It was not a top-down partnership where I needed to tell them what to do, but a collaboration of working together and equally contributing ideas. Although it was very interesting to hear how 4-H has changed (or not) over the years, it really was dependent on the perspective of the person being interviewed as their experiences and involvement in 4-H varied.”

Teen Filmmakers Exhibit and Learn at 2014 FilmFest 4-H

Teenage filmmakers from nine states exhibited 40 youth-produced films at the 2014 FilmFest 4-H in st. Louis, August 3-6. Sixty teens and leaders participated in the educational programs at the festival. Activities included viewing and discussing the teen-produced films and participating in a series of workshops conducted by film industry professionals. The topics included design, writing, casting, filming, lighting, sound, stunts, makeup, costuming, animation, control room operation, and remote satellite transmission.

Among the many highlights:

  • Emily Hagins, youngest Hollywood film director and writer, shared her Hollywood-based filmmaking insights from an unprecedented youth perspective.
  • Film producer and editor, Russ Weston, winner of fur Emmy and six Telly awards, conducted workshops for the youth in the remote satellite truck and control room on how remote productions get to our television screens; and
  • A visit to the nationally acclaimed “CoolFire Studios” in st. Louis where participants visited with professional directors, animation artists, sound producers and film producers as they worked in their studios.

Twenty-nine films were pre-selected by judges to be viewed in five categories: Documentary, Narrative, 4-H Promotional, Animation, and “Voices of 4-H History.” The top three in each category were recognized during the program along with a vote for the audience favorite. According to Tom Tate, the National 4-H History Preservation Team’s representative at the festival, “2014 FilmFest 4-H prepared future leaders to communicate more effectively in changing times.”

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

  • Clay Ferguson (San Leandro, CA), “100 Year Anniversary: 4-H and the Alameda County Fair”
  • Eric Glaze (Waynesville, OH), “A Centennial of Extension with Dr. D. Howard Doster”
  • Kelsey Hibl and Brittany Berger (Dickenson, ND), “Voices of Stark County 4-H.”

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:


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.

History Preservation Newsletter
February 2014

WOW, What an Issue!


Report card of the father of a former National 4-H Foundation (now 4-H Council) staff member demonstrates the close tie between 4-H and One-Room schools.

National History Day this year offers 4-H’ers and leaders the opportunity to highlight different aspects of 4-H History under the theme of “Rights and Responsibilities.”

“Voices of 4-H History” captures memories of alumni, leaders, donors and others in audio/video records. That’s the oral “History Preservation” part. At the same time, having “Voices” as part of FilmFest 4-H 2014 is very current, so it’s the “Contemporary History” part. In the “Voices” bit, there’s a rather detailed explanation of how two MD counties are approaching the project; just consider it a “how-to” example if you’re not already involved. In the “FilmFest 4-H” part, you’ll find necessary details for this year’s national 4-H film festival and how you can participate.

Four-H Repositories, History of 4-H Radio, 4-H and One-Room Schools: all of these and more lead to new and ever growing sections of the National 4-H History Preservation Program website:

“Hands-On History” highlights 4-H Electricity projects and how you can bring awareness into your 4-H club meetings.

A very special Happy Birthday wish to National 4-H Hall of Fame Laureate and Centenarian C. J. Gauger; send him a card!

And a Happy Centennial year to all Smith-Lever Act beneficiaries.

Enjoy this issue.

Voices of 4-H History Moves Forward in Hawaii

Hawaii 4-H leader Joan Chong shared that Hawaii 4-H has two Youth-Adult partnership teams (one from Maui and the other from Kona) that came together the first weekend of November for a training. “We are working on going to other islands/sites to do more training,” Chong said. “The youth are excited to take on this project. Hopefully we’ll have some videos soon.”

For more information about the “Voices of 4-H History” project promoting audio/video interviews, visit the website: http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/Voices

Tom Tate

History Preservation Newsletter
November 2013

November 2013 4-H History Newsletter

After the rush of fairs, summer activities and achievement programs, now is a good time to focus on 4-H History (contemporary and past), documenting memories and making plans for history-related activities for next year. This month we feature:

  • “Voices of 4-H History” activities in several states and examples of how others are preparing to start History Clubs and/or film alumni, leaders, staff and supporters to capture their stories for posterity.
  • “Hands-On History” focuses on early clothing project demonstrations and fashion reviews as far back as 1919; you can add a historical note to current clothing and fashion-related work by digging into the history of these projects in your area.
  • “VIP Support” introduces you to some of the thousands of noted personalities who have lent their name and prestige to 4-H over the past 100+ years. Celebrities of all sorts – entertainers, sports stars, Presidents and public officials, authors, astronauts and others – provided valuable public awareness to the relevance and impact of the 4-H educational program across the country.

Use the Thanksgiving and Holiday breaks to re-group and plan your history activities for 2014. Pumpkin pie and history planning go well together!


Clover Cinema Club to Produce Voices of 4-H History Films for Virginia

The Clover Cinema Club, based in Prince George, Virginia, has formed a team of 4-H youth filmmakers who will be traveling to the southeast, southwest, and northern Virginia to interview former 4-H members, leaders and supporters about their 4-H memories. The young film makers will travel to the various regions during the Thanksgiving and Holiday seasons to film interviews. The Clover Cinema Club hopes to complete their formatting and editing early in 2014. Versions of the film are being considered for local, regional and national sharing. Adult 4-H leader Herman Maclin says the youth hope that their films will encourage former and new audiences to get involved in 4-H.

Tom Tate

Training Session for Voices of 4-H History Volunteers

Ocean City, Maryland – November 22-24, 2013. The Voices of 4-H History Team will be sharing poster displays and workshops for the 2013 Volunteer and Teen Leadership Forum targeted to all faculty, staff, volunteers, and 4-H youth. Th conference focus will be  on the 4-H Core Program Components; developing volunteers, strengthening and expanding the 4-H club program.

Youth and adult leaders in attendance will be able to launch a Voices of 4-H History initiative or club after attending the workshop. Key components will include: viewing good examples of audio/visual products produced by pilot county sites, recruiting youth and adults, selecting good interviewing questions, good sources of editing software and hardware.

Tom Tate.