The spotlight will shine directly on Redwood City when the nation’s top young filmmakers compete in the first inaugural Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest at the Fox Theatre Nov. 22-23.
Only open to filmmakers 22 or younger, categories include feature, short, documentary, animation, experimental and mobile. The winner will receive $1,000. In addition, schools from the Bay Area will have the opportunity to compete for $1,000 toward its school media arts department by participating in the Rocketfuel 48 Hour Film Challenge. The competition presented by Dailymotion and Rocketfuel.
Fresh Takes is a nonprofit organization that provides a positive outlet for youth through camps and programs that teach students digital, computer-based filmmaking and editing. The Fresh Takes lab is spearheaded by Pete Liebengood, retired sportscaster for KRON and ESPN. He is passionate about creativity through filmmaking and broadening youth’s horizons. Fresh Takes started as an afterschool program for San Mateo County students enrolled in media arts classes.
“If I can put someone on a career path, that’s my goal,” said Liebengood.
He was inspired to create this competition and fundraiser after attending a youth film festival in Seattle.
“It was such a positive event that nothing but good could come out of it,” he said. “This event could be like the Sundance festival for the youth right here in Redwood City.”
Liebengood has been fortunate enough to witness the impact of the Fresh Takes program firsthand. Sixteen-year-old Sean Story of Everest Charter School in Redwood City has worked with Fresh Takes since its inception in 2010. Story is homegrown talent who has flourished. He researched, designed and built Fresh Takes’ recording studio. He recently produced a marketing video for the City Council, and also created the logo for the film festival. He is currently starting his own production company. Story is the ideal talent that Liebengood would like to continue discovering within the program and future events.
Fresh Takes participants recently produced public service announcements for Caltrain, an “anti-bullying” video for the Young Dreamer Network and an Oktoberfest commercial for the Rotary Club. They also create marketing videos, online commercials and television commercials for local businesses and nonprofits. Fresh Takes’ long-term goal is to expand the young production team and become a self-sustaining organization.
For more information about the Fresh Takes National Filmfest go to freshtakes.net/event-details. The extended deadline for submissions is Sept. 15. Also, friends and family of filmmakers can vote for their favorite production and help them win the “People’s Choice” category by going to freshtakes.net/peoples-choice.