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The First Annual MediaBridge Fest for youth in Chicago

The First Annual MediaBridge Fest for youth ages 15-19 kicks off August 11 and 12 at Facets Multi-Media, 1517 W. Fullerton. Films for the first night of the festival were selected during two weeks of deliberation by the MediaBridge jury from among 150 entries submitted to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

The second night of the MediaBridge Midnight Fest will feature an Open Screen during which films made by MediaBridge participants and youth from around Chicago will be shown.

The MediaBridge group is no ordinary festival panel. Young filmmakers from seven countries comprise the exclusive youth jury, which brings teens from Israel, Taiwan, Spain, the U.K., Mexico and the Czech Republic together with teens from all over the city of Chicago.

After an orientation from MediaBridge faculty and a keynote address by Milos Stehlik, co-founder of Facets, the young people used a discussion and rating system independent of adult influence. “Over twenty-three years of media education experience has taught us that programs focused on peer-driven youth communication create a more empowering experience for the students,” said Stehlik.

“Being part of an international group seeing films from different countries has given me the chance to see movies I would never have seen otherwise. Having to defend my favorites during the selection process was challenging and exciting,” said Vincent Chen from Taiwan.

Having completed their selection of films for the upcoming festival, the MediaBridge group has gone on to an intensive three-week screenwriting program at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Bronzeville.

The MediaBridge Midnight Fest will include 15 animated and live action short films from 10 countries over the two nights of the event.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 11- Midnight
Little Things, 11 mins (United Kingdom)
A humorous and inventive animated meditation on the interconnectedness of seemingly small circumstances.

Fear of Heights, 12 mins (Denmark)
Sparta meets Hermes at the Juniors’ National High Diving Team Competition, where the pressure of competition mounts for the athletes from fans, coaches, parents and themselves.

Blue Karma Tiger, 12 mins (Sweden)
This animated documentary about graffiti follows three female graffiti artists as they tell us why they leave their mark on walls, tunnels, and trains.

The Messenger, 12 mins (The Netherlands)
In his room at night, Jimmy is visited by an apparition that wants to make something clear to him.

Delivery, 9 min (Germany)
An old man lives a lonely life under the dark shadows of industrial smog until he receives a mysterious and powerful package. This surreal short combines a simple plot with individual 3D designs and a strong, emotional soundtrack composed by brothers Andreas and Matthias Hornschuh.

Motherless Haya, 14 mins (Israel)
In authentic footage filmed by Haya herself, we follow her story as she sets out to learn about her mother, who died during childbirth in Ethiopia.

Honey Fields, 22 mins (US)
Two brothers have their first glimpse into the troubles that can be caused by love.

Tragic Story with a Happy Ending, RT 8 mins (France, Portugal, Canada)
Through an innovative engraving technique, this animated film presents the story of a little girl who learns to embrace her own difference using a world of contrasts in which the play of light and shadow transforms the banality of everyday life.

Zombie Prom, 36 mins (US)
In the retro style of a 1950s horror comic book, Zombie Prom is the musical story of sweet teenage girl Toffee and “bad boy” Jonny, who meet in high school, fall in love and live happily ever after . . . until Jonny turns into a teenage nuclear zombie!

Open Screen- Youth filmmakers are invited to bring their own films to Facets Multi-Media for an open exhibition. If you're 15 -19 and have a great short film, bring it on down and share your greatness with the world. Only NTSC VHS or DVD formats can be accepted and all films must be 15 minutes or shorter.

Passes to Midnight Fest are $10.00 which includes a pre-screening party. Passes may be purchased at Facets or by calling Kidsfest at (773) 281-9075.

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