SHREVEPORT, LA – Film Prize Junior, the high school version of the award-winning Louisiana Film Prize, is proud to announce the launch of their first ever online festival for high school filmmakers. From June 8 through June 22, 2020 the public is invited to visit the festival website, FilmPrizeJr.com, view the films and vote for the winner of Film Prize Junior 2020. The festival was scheduled to take place during Artbreak, a large student art festival, but the COVID-19 health crisis canceled the event. Film Prize Foundation organizers quickly created a plan to take the festival online, and they will kick off Film Prize Junior 2020 with a live Facebook and Youtube event on June 8 at 12pm Central Time.
“I’m so proud of the Prize Foundation team for quickly embracing the new normal and creating a robust online festival experience,” said Gregory Kallenberg, Executive Director of Prize Foundation. “These high school students worked so hard on these projects, they all deserve for their work to be seen by as many people as possible.”
A record breaking total of 25 films were submitted this year from 14 schools across the state of Louisiana. This achievement is particularly impressive, as the majority of the films were produced while engaging in an online learning environment. The Film Prize Junior and Caddo Career and Technology Center staff provided online educational opportunities and assisted the students and teachers in producing and editing their Film Prize Junior projects.
“The teachers are the real heroes here,” said Steven Knight, one of the Film Prize Junior organizers. “In the middle of a health crisis, the teachers kept these students focused on their filmmaking and got the job done. Now, we invite everyone to be a part of celebrating the work of these students and their teachers.”
This year’s virtual festival will be one of the largest high school film festivals and conferences in the country, and the festival organizers will award $10,000 in scholarships and media grants to the winning schools. This year, Film Prize Junior 2020 will feature more than just shorts from the next generation of filmmakers. The Film Prize staff of professional filmmakers will offer online workshops on pre-production, post-production, and editing for students. There will also be panels and roundtable discussions available for the teacher-sponsors. A full schedule of events can be found on the festival website, FilmPrizeJr.com.
Additional awards are available for the winners of the Public Service Announcement competition for Caddo and Bossier students. Students created 30-60 second PSAs for either SWEPCO (energy efficiency) or Shreveport Green (litter reduction). These PSAs will be located at the Film Prize Jr. YouTube channel. The PSA with the most likes in each category will win a $500 scholarship for the student. Each organization will also choose a winner to receive a $500 scholarship. Additionally, the Harry V. Booth-Judge Henry A. Politz American Inn of Court will award $500 scholarships to the writer and director of the film they select based on the topics of student social media use and free speech.