Why go to a film festival just to sit in the theater? Some festivals have participatory events off screen that can make the experience even more meaningful.
Volunteer for just three shifts at the New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival and you’ll get free access to film screenings.
There are public events throughout the city as well. During the festival, the Apple Store Soho offers a free meet-the-filmmaker series and script-writing classes.
The Adobe/HP Studio at the Sundance Festival in Utah is stocked with equipment and tips to learn how to edit, organize, and share pictures.
Plenty of opportunities for younger kids exist, as well. The Phoenix Film Festival has programming for ages 5 through high school. Kids Days features 11 stations, each dedicated to a different part of the filmmaking process. The festival provides flip cams for filming, instruments for soundtrack recording, and an editing station.
The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival hosts workshops like an animation program where kids can learn to develop, design, storyboard and animate their own short film.
A word to the wise, these programs fill up fast, so register early.
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