The Extremely Young Film Festival showcases the innovative talents of young filmmakers from around the world. Aurora Picture Show accepts submissions for short-film entries in two age categories: youth and teen. All types of short films—including stop-motion, live action, and documentary—are eligible.
Born out of the spirit of Aurora Picture Show's Extremely Shorts Film Festival, for film and video under 3 minutes long, Extremely Young Film Festival puts the spotlight on entries by filmmakers from age 7 to 17. The festival celebrates their artistic, creative, and technical strengths, and their interpretations of the world in which they live, recognizing that these voices are the future of media expression.
Even though the Extremely Young Film Festival takes place in Houston, all youth and teen filmmakers, from anywhere in the world, may submit their work for consideration. Here are the official selections for 2015:
Youth (ages 7–12)
West Child Story(Spain, 2½ min.)
by State School Santa Teresa Berta Coller
"A love story like Romeo and Juliet, like an American Tony and Maria from West Side Story, seen through the eyes of children who fall in love despite the race and physical problems. . . . Will it change the final with regard to the adult version?"
Modern Times (Temps Moderns)(Spain, 3 min.) by Pablo Vergara
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
Children of the World(India, 1½ min.) by Ecole Mondiale World School, Mumbai
This animated film about child rights focuses on a child who lives a happy childhood but is aware of the many who are not as privileged. Collaboratively created by Grade V students who each animated one shot from the film.
The Hotel (Moldova, 3 min.) by Maria Grabovscaia
Animation film made by children ages 10 to 12.
Operation Relocation (USA, 3 min.) by Reed McFeely
Two blobs save planet Thrae with a rocket ship and a long piece of rope.
I'm in Love with High Heels (USA, 1½ min.) by Ethan Herschel Liss
Are high heels just for girls? Not according to Nate, who falls in love with a pair of high heels and never takes them off—but when his mom finds out, things go wrong.
One Nation (USA, 3 min.) by Anthony Hobbs
Steven and his friends (Jeffrey, Spice, Hope, Rose, and Brianna) decide they need to give back to the members of the army returning home after fighting for freedom.
Teen (ages 13 to 17)
Generations(USA, 2½ min.) by Janette Lu
A brother struggles to connect.
The Watcher (USA, 3½ min.) by Summer Fox
A young girl feels like she is being watched by a mysterious ghostly figure.
Snapped(USA, 3 min.) by Jun Hyung Park, Skyler Brigmann
The stalker found your house.
Stage Fright (USA, 2 min.) by Alex Gilmour
A magician is terrorized by a sweatshirt wizard.
9.99 (USA, 1 min.) by Abbey Sacks
An experimental film about consumerism.
Interlochen Students on Latin American Art (USA, 3 min.) by Abbey Sacks
A documentary about Interlochen students.
#HTXFAF: The Story of Free Art Friday (USA, 2½ min.) by Audrey Mills*
A documentary about the Free Art Friday movement in Houston.
Mr. Melborn (USA, 1 min.) by Alexia Salingaros
Lego animation, set to music, conveys the story of a man living in 18th-century London.
The Rescue (UK, 3 min.) by George Watkins
A fisherman is stranded at sea, but will the Coast Guard get to him in time?
Mind Galaxies (UK, 1½ min.) by Kaia Walmisley
A girl gets trapped inside the thought process of her own mind.
Friends? (USA, 3 min.) by Elijah Seneker
A middle-aged man is confronted by a disturbed young girl with wild accusations about their friendship. Sometimes friends aren't who you think they are.
Playtime(Canada, 1 min.) by Ava Young
This film documents the peaceful, yet sorrow, feeling a local park has in the winter.
The Lunch Table (USA, 2 min.) by Cristina Trabada
A look into the personalities that make up a lunch table in high school, through the eyes of a teenage girl.
Elsewhere(USA, 2 min.) by Joanna Small
Sisterly love in the morning.
Open Door (USA, 3 min.) by Vanilla K. Parthiban
Two sisters go to the forbidden world with an iPhone.
Robot and Bird (UK, 2 min.) by Into Film
A robot is controlled by an evil genius bent on destroying the world—until they meet a bird.
Full Circle (USA, 2 min.) by Tiffany Lin
Follow the journey of a plastic bag as it travels from the beach out into the open ocean.
The Emotional Dimensions of the James River (USA, 3 min.) by Michelle Marquez**
This experimental film, based on a neuroscience research project, challenges the traditional division and separation between science and art.
**Official selection for "Extremely Shorts 18"
Message from Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, festival juror
The Extremely Young Film Festival had over 350 submissions. Viewing these works for selection was a joyful process where I got to experience the creative and playful ways that young people reflect their thoughts on moving images, and to follow their concerns about different personal, social and politic matters.
With digital tools becoming more and more accessible, there was a diversity of styles; from professionally made works with a crew to simple home-made cellphone videos. It was great pleasure to watch all of them! And it was fascinating to find a good number of international submissions from different countries. To be honest, I was expecting this festival to be a more local event, but the submitted works showed to me that Extremely Young Film Festival is a great platform for young makers from all over the world.
I found a lot of common themes in the works of young film and video makers. It was moving to watch young activists who use the medium of video as part of their practice of sharing information and contributing to different communities; there were many movies that were reflecting environmental issues and the rising concern for this urgent matter and how it affects the quality of life for young people; many interesting works were studying the technological age that young people are living in and how they relate to their environment; in many works different tropes and genres were playfully appropriated to create low-budget and independent science fictions, horror movies, musicals . . . It was an absolutely amazing experience for me, as a filmmaker who makes works for and about children, to get a new sense of what children and youth cinema could really mean!
I loved many of the works, and it was heartbreaking for me that many of the films didn't make their way to the final selection. There were many submissions and we had to program only about 25 films out of them. This was the most difficult part of the process for me. But, I hope that you will come and view the final films on Friday, May 29. In addition to hearing my top choices, the audience will be able to vote for their own selections. —Anahita Ghazvinizadeh