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Published on May 15, 2011
FRESH FILM FESTIVAL - Sponsored by Storm Cinemas. www.freshfilmfestival.net.
We visited the amazing Storm Cinemas recently as they were hosting the Fresh Film Festival 2011. Fresh was founded in 1997 and celebrates its 15th festival this year. It began as part of the Limerick Film Festival as the Irish School's Video Competition but it has since grown into a national independent Film Festival for young people aged 7 -- 18 years. It screens in excess of 150 films every year and focuses on two key strands, the young person as filmmaker and the young audience.
Fresh Film provide workshops, training, summer camps, international young filmmaker exchange, national and international distribution and advocacy. Ireland's Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards are at the centre of Fresh's relationship with the young filmmaker, the awards celebrate the achievements of the filmmakers and offers public screening of their work in five regional screenings with three specialist awards -- Animation, Documentary and 60 second shot to promote excellence in their specific forms.
They screen classic, foreign language and independent films featuring young people as the protagonist. They also host international short films showcasing new talent who make films about young people and also run partnership events and screenings with a number of Irish film organizations.
While the growth of video sharing websites such as YouTube allows young people greater access to audiences the viewers are virtual. Fresh seeks to support their filmmakers by providing live platforms for their work. They host a number of regional showcases to screen the work of the young filmmakers for new audiences around Ireland and produces a showcase DVD that is available for screening/entry to other festivals around the world. They also support young filmmakers in traveling to see their work abroad by developing international festival partners and seeking funding to enable them to travel. What an honour for Limerick to host these awards every year as it encourages Limericks young filmmakers to shine!