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ViewFinders Atlantic City announces line up.

The 4th annual ViewFinders: International Film Festival for Youth (VF4), April 19-23, 2005, a presentation of the Atlantic Film Festival, announced its line-up of close to 60 films and 40 workshops in its School Program and weekend family programs.

"This year’s program of workshops is fun, interactive and engaging," said Kellie Manning, ViewFinders Director. "From Jay Dahl’s Script to Screen to film lighting and animation workshops, we cover all the creative bases in our popular School Program and weekend programs."

"The films this year address timely and relevant topics," said Andrew Murphy, ViewFinders Programmer. "War and how it affects children, teen pressures, friendship and bullying are relevant issues in and out of the classroom. We developed the program so that the films can easily be used as a teaching tool and to spark discussion."

The CBC Opening Gala is Millions on April 19, 7:00 PM, at the Oxford Theatre, for Family 12+. In Millions, when a railway heist goes wrong and a bag of money falls from the sky into the hands of young Damian and Anthony, there’s only one thing to do – spend it like there’s no tomorrow. Nine-year-old Anthony is ever practical, while seven-year-old brother Damian uses imagination, fantasy and faith to make sense of his confusing world after the death of their mother. Director Danny Boyle, best known for gritty dramas like Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, reinvents the cinematic experience once again – only this time for children.

Preceding Millions, there will be a special screening of a five-minute rough-cut of footage taken by ”Students for Teaching Peace.“SFTP is a local youth-driven organization that attended a student-run peace conference in Belgrade, Serbia. The students were inspired to action by Teresa MacInnes’ film Teaching Peace In a Time of War, which they saw at ViewFinders last year.

Prior to the Opening screening, the Clay Café will host a free Pre-Opening Gala Pizza Party from 5:30-6:45 PM, across the street from the Oxford Theatre. Tickets are free but limited and can be reserved in advance by calling the ViewFinders Box Office at 902-422-6965.

The Empire Theatres Closing Gala is Turtles Can Fly on Saturday, April 23, 7:00 PM, Empire 17 Cinemas Bayers Lake #10, for Family 12+. Turtles Can Fly is set in a Kurdish refugee camp in the middle of the desert shortly before the American attack on Iraq. A 13-year-old boy, known simply as “Satellite” in the camp because he always seems to know the latest news from US broadcasters, hopes that by keeping abreast of the news he will be able to discover what the future of the camp will be. Turtles Can Fly is powerful and provocative and was an audience favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival Kinderfilmfest.

Members of the Youth Jury will be on hand Closing Night to present the four ViewFinders awards: Gordon Parsons Award for Best Feature, CBC Award for Best Short Film, ViewFinders Award for Best Documentary and the Award for Best Animation.

ViewFinders Movie Challenge is back this year along with the new ViewFinders Animation Challenge. The two contests are for amateur filmmakers 18 years old and younger who are living in Nova Scotia. Entrants, individually or as a group, can submit a maximum five-minute animation or movie to have a chance to be one of the top 10 animations and top 10 movies premiered on the big screen at Empire Cinemas 17 Bayers Lake. The top 10 finalists for the Animation Challenge will screen on April 23 while the top 10 finalists for the Movie Challenge will screen on April 22. The top 10 animations will receive broadcast consideration on TELETOON, while the top 10 movies will receive broadcast consideration on CBC TV. For each Challenge, the top prize is the $1,000 People's Choice Award, chosen by the members in the audience at the screening, 1st prize $500, 2nd prize $250 and a $100 Youth Jury Prize. In addition to prizes, those 16 years and older in the top 10 for each Challenge will be eligible for a Centre for Arts and Technology $10,000 Youth Scholarship which will be given out at the Empire Theatres Closing Gala.

ViewFinders is continuing to offer free programs for families at the Keshen Goodman Library and the North Branch Library. Poko, shot in Halifax, is fun-filled series that explores pre-schoolers first steps and first friendships. TELETOON will show a best of TELETOON’s cartoons for kids of all ages. There will also be a special Kids’ CBC Morning with Mark O’Brien at Empire Theatres.

In addition to screenings, ViewFinders hosts 40 workshops that draw largely from a local talent pool of industry professionals. Workshops include: the ins and outs of classical, stop-motion and digital animation; media literacy; Director’s Corner with Geoff D'Eon; and workshops on lighting, foley and sound, special effects makeup and storyboarding. ViewFinders is also offering special workshops in music documentary and an Under 19 DJ Olympics workshop.

Designed to complement the Nova Scotia school curriculum, the comprehensive CBC Educator Pack was developed for ViewFinders by a public school educator and guidance consultant for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. The program provides lesson plans to accompany the School Program’s films for grade levels P-12. CBC Educator Pack plus other information on the School Program are downloadable from The Empire Theatres Bus Program also provides funding for transportation for schools to and from ViewFinders.

All School Program and weekend workshops take place in the Workshop Zone at Empire 17 Cinemas Bayers Lake. School Program and weekend screenings take place at Empire 17 Cinemas Bayers Lake and the Oxford Theatre. All screenings and workshops are open to the public.

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