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Students to show their talents in fourth annual film festival

Local kids will get their chance at screenwriting.

From STAFF REPORTS

On Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m., the McKinney Center in Jonesborough will host the fourth annual Jonesborough Student Film Festival. In addition to the student-created short films in the “Let’s Make a TV Show” class, this year’s festival will also feature local history-based mysteries and documentaries, which resulted from the “History Mystery Summer Film Camp,” a class created through Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts and in collaboration with the Heritage Alliance.

These features are all student written, directed and edited.

Bob Browning, Jonesborough’s Town Administrator, is a strong supporter of the films being made by Jonesborough’s youth, and said, “Storytelling is such a powerful tool to enhance literacy, academic achievement, self-confidence, and self-esteem. When youth learn stories of their family and community and look at their own story as they have lived it thus far, they are more connected and they come to realize that if they want to they can change the ending to their story. That is a powerful thing.”

The festival brings together short films made over the past year at the new studio in the Gillespie Building.

Film classes held there taught students to write a story, develop a script treatment, create a storyboard, film, and edit, including using green-screen (chroma key) technology In the studio. Students also incorporated live “location” shots for their films.

Once, a student used her artistic abilities to make an animated pencil sketch feature.

Jimmy Neil Smith, the founder of the National Storytelling Festival, said, “This festival proves that the storytelling tradition is alive and thriving among the young people of the Jonesborough community. They’re telling their stories the twenty-first century way.”

These young film makers will be given movie-star treatment. They’ll be picked up in a limousine to arrive for their red-carpet debut and photo-op before the films are presented at 6.

History Mystery Film class will be taught again this spring. Space is limited to eight students, and registration is going on now at the McKinney Center. To download a registration form or to see the complete catalog of classes, go to mckinneycenter.com

Jonesborough’s Student Film Festival begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14, and is free and open to the public. Popcorn will be served. For additional information, contact Jules Corriere at [email protected] or (423) 794-6320.