Flint, MI — The 2020 Flint Youth Film Festival, an event spotlighting filmmakers, will be held for two weeks in July, 1-18, in a virtual format. 

Now in its fifth year, the festival was created by The Flint Youth Media Project as a means to give young artists, ages 13-25, an opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience. FYMP, whose goal is to provide media education to Flint and Genesee County youth via professionals in the area, also usually offers filmmaking workshops for all ages as part of the festival. 

“When we realized that we usually had the films available online for people to vote for the Audience Choice Award we knew it would be easy to make the Festival still happen in this new format for people to enjoy,” said Justin Brown, Director of the festival, in reference to adjustments made in light of COVID-19. 

Usually, they would have a screening at Mott Community College and the Awards Ceremony at the Flint Institute of Arts a few days after, Brown said. This year, viewers can vote for which film they think would win on their website. Brown recommends subscribing to their YouTube channel for those interested in knowing when they go live for the awards show. 

Of the 32 films submitted this year, 30 will be aired for the audience’s consideration, with no need to RSVP due to the online format. 

“We all watched through the films to make sure there wasn’t anything too violent or graphic for our audience as well as no hard language. We are an all-ages festival, after all. We tried to use our best judgement to determine which were eligible and which weren’t,” said Brown. 

“Unless there are elements of the film we find extremely problematic, unresolved copyright issues, or it doesn’t match some part of the main criteria we have, then we usually allow a film in.” 

The Flint Youth Film Festival is sponsored by Mott Community College, the Flint Institute of Arts, iMichigan Productions, University of Michigan-Flint, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, James. A Welch Foundation, A.G. Bishop Charitable Trust, and Emagine Theatres. 

“Last year was probably our biggest with around 40 films entered. Considering we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we have 32 films in the Festival we’re feeling pretty good,” said Brown. 

For more information, check Flint Youth Film Festival’s website

Ramona Watson is a 23-year-old Flint native with a love for art, culture, and the written word, as well as a keen interest in learning more about Flint not only as a city but as a community. Ramona graduated...

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