HEADLINES

Greenwich Youth Film Festival March 25 at Greenwich Library Cole Auditorium

Greenwich Botanical Center Hosts the 8th Annual Greenwich Youth Film Festival Awards with Actor and Filmmaker, Kabir Chopra 

Festival promotes filmmaking as a form of local environmental activism, a method for visual storytelling utilizing media tools among area youth.  

GREENWICH, Conn., Monday, March 11, 2019 -- Last month more than 50 films were submitted to the 8th Annual Greenwich Youth Film Festival (GYFF) from High School students throughout the Fairfield and Westchester County region. The festival is a component of the Fairchild Challenge STEAM program at the Greenwich Botanical Center (formerly Garden Education Center of Greenwich) and is hosted in partnership with Greenwich Library, the Avon Film Center Theatre, and the Greenwich Arts Council. 

The winning films will be screened followed by an awards reception, free to attendees, on Monday, March 25 at 6:30p at the Greenwich Library Cole Auditorium. The awards reception will also feature a keynote by actor and filmmaker, Kabir Chopra. Based in New York, Chopra has appeared in several films and TV series including Two-Grown (BET), Madam Secretary (CBS) and Horror Time (Executive Producer James Franco) which he also co-wrote. Kabir is also the creator and star of the series Swiped to Death which explores the messy realities of online dating. He has a BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and has trained at The PIT, The Stella Adler Studio, and The Michael Warner Studio (KabirChopra.com).

Registration through the Greenwich Botanical Center website is required to attend this GYFF Awards event (https://greenwichbotanicalcenter.org/event/greenwich-youth-film-festival-2019/). 

"Each non-profit organization helps to play a role in this festival’s vital growth. The Junior League of Greenwich successfully launched this project in 2011-12 transitioning it to the community in 2016" said GYFF Co-chair and GBC Board President, Meg McAuley Kaicher. She continued, "We considered feedback from last year, and have great news to share! Judging aligns with specific academic criteria The GYFF is now a part of the Fairchild Challenge at GBC". The Fairchild Challenge was designed and initiated by GBC’s sister organization, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. Kaicher co-chairs the event with GBC Board member, Bharti Chojar. 

Participants are part of an award-winning, interdisciplinary, environmental science competition.  The Fairchild Challenge has been recognized as a benchmark for exceptional STEM education and for empowering students to become the next generation of scientists, researchers, educated voters, policymakers, and environmentally-minded citizens. The festival reaches out regionally throughout Fairfield, Westchester and adjoining counties.  Since last year, GYFF has communicated with multiple community partners to expand the breadth of GYFF touching underserved students as well as those engaged already in filmmaking programs. 

The Town of Greenwich Conservation Commission and GPS PTAC Green Schools support the initiative along with Faculty Advisors. "Our teachers and students can build credibility, we reach out to over 100 schools and share cutting-edge filmmaking, media, and entertainment resources from multiple industry experts relevant to students considering further study or engagement with the broad array of jobs in the media and entertainment fields," said Chojar. An industry panel of experts for teachers, parents & students is being planned at GBC for September 2019.

Films are accepted in the following genres Social Action; Creative; Documentary; Animation; and Experimental. The following awards will be presented on March 25th -- 

  • Social Action (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Creative (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Documentary (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Animation (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Experimental (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Best First Year Film Student Submission (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Best of Festival
  • Best Film Poster

There is a $10 registration fee for film submissions and scholarships are available as needed. For more information please email the GYFF division at Greenwich Botanical Center ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Additional June screenings of award-winning films may take place at Greenwich Arts Council on Greenwich Avenue and at Greenwich Botanical Center. More information about the Fairchild Challenge, enrollment forms, and details on all challenges to follow at www.greenwichbotanicalcenter.org.

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