Fox Theater hosted 19th annual Christian Youth Film Festival Sunday night

Young filmmakers competed for cash and awards

BAKERSFIELD - The Fox Theater was lit up for the Christian Youth Film Festival Sunday evening, an opportunity for young filmmakers to produce short films and show them on the big screen.

“To be able to see the looks on people’s faces when they’re watching your film, and their reactions and the emotions going on inside the place, it’s something that you can’t get from a film on YouTube or Vimeo," David Caploe said. He worked on Phillip's Africa which played at the festival. "You can get likes but there is nothing like seeing the people’s faces after they have seen your film.” 

As ticket holders entered the Fox and the seats filled up, Sunday night marked the end of a learning experience for the young filmmakers.

“We have kids that have never even touched a camera and then we have kids that have all kinds of equipment and software and yet they come together and they compete and they’re on a level playing field,” Joe Brown said. Brown is one of the founders of the Christian Youth Film Festival.  

The filmmakers, whether rookies or veterans, viewed the festival as a way to showcase their work and see how it stacked up.

“This is a great way to get young filmmakers to produce good work and it provides healthy competition which I think is really good for filmmakers,” Caploe said. 

Another filmmaker was excited for the films to start, but he was also already looking forward to next year.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see how it turns out," Robert Alexander said. Alexander worked on the film Vanity, Vanity. "It’s a really cool experience. Everything just really came together and we would probably enter next year.” 

As the films played and filmmakers were able to see their names on the big screen as the credits rolled – the Christian Youth Film Festival’s work didn't end. The festival’s founder will try to reach more youth through a filmmaking workshop on March 16 at Bakersfield Christian High School.

“We hope that they kids will learn everything from how to hold a camera, to how to write a story, to edit," Brown said. "They will learn all kinds of things, directing other kids, how to work together as a team."

More information on the festival or the upcoming workshop can be found on the organization's website: http://www.christianyouthfilmfestival.org/ 

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