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  /  Arts   /  Olivia Weseley’s Teen Film Festival

Olivia Weseley’s Teen Film Festival

Over the past few years, film festivals have become increasingly popular. From the recent online Watch Dogs Film Festival, to the Japanese Film Festival in San Francisco, or even the popular Sundance Film Festival in Utah, an increasing amount of new talent is showcased around the country each year.

Recently, Olivia Weseley (‘19) created her own film festival here in New York City. Olivia is a film fanatic who enjoys making and watching movies. She wanted to create a festival where teens who shared her passion for films could get together, share their work, enter their movies into an official festival, and have an opportunity to win prizes.

“I really wanted to create a New York City teen film festival with no submission fee, just to encourage everyone to submit, where there’s no reason to not,” said Olivia.

In December, Olivia began to create social media pages to promote the festival. The festival’s instagram, for example, has more than 1,300 followers. Olivia talked with Michael Miller, the head of DV at Packer, who had contacts with filmmakers around New York. He helped Olivia to spread the word around the city. In the end, Olivia managed to raise funds for a $250 prize for the best overall film and was able to hold the festival at the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan.

25 films were submitted, 13 finalists were chosen to be shown at the festival, and 75 people attended the event. The 13 films were submitted to five judges, Chioke Nassor, Ogechi Musa, Liz Giamatti, Howard Bernstein, and Meghan O’Neill.  While some of the attendees were teens who had submitted films, the majority of people who attended the festival were there to watch good cinema. The Best Overall Film was awarded to “Lovecast,” directed by Cooper Yeager, a student at Rye Country Day.

The festival was a great success and will be held again next September. Olivia hopes that by next year the festival will become even more popular, with even more submissions from schools around the city.

The NYC Teen Film Festival is a great opportunity for Packer filmmakers to showcase their work to the rest of the city. If you’re interested, submit your work, see your movies screened at a festival, and showcase your work to the rest of the City. 2016 winners can be seen on the website

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