Competition open to young regional filmmakers

Now in its fourth year, the REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival is rolling out around Regional Australia for 2018, on the search for the next wave of young Australian filmmakers.

This year’s program will also see over 70 in-school filmmaking and mental health workshops come to schools throughout Regional NSW for students interested in learning what it’s all about behind the camera lens.

The festival’s 2018 short film competition, open to all young people aged 12 to 25 years around Regional Australia, has a submissions deadline of September 24th at 11:59pm. This year’s theme, for all films to include, is “Escape” and the signature item is a “Sign”. Films must also be under six minutes’ duration, including titles and credits. There are thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, with more information coming soon at www.recyashorts.com.au.

A judging panel including the filmmakers behind new award-winning indie comedy That’s Not Me, Alice Foulcher and Greg Erdstein, will select the short film finalists to screen at the new Nextwave Youth Film Awards at the Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF) in Coffs Harbour next January.

The winner of the Best Director and Best Scriptwriter last year, Blaise Borrer, is now studying at AFTRS in Sydney, “Well, on a general scale I found that when REC Ya Shorts came around it opened up doors to other festivals, to get festival experience and be introduced to the film festival world. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people, and after spending all that time making my film, to have it seen on a massive screen. It’s just awesome.”

Winning films from the REC Ya Shorts’ 2018 competition will be offered to regional theatres and community organisations around Regional Australia to screen next April for 2019’s National Youth Week celebrations.

REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival is co-presented by SWIFF and Headspace Coffs Harbour, and supported by Southern Cross University, Create NSW, C.ex Group, Tamworth Family Support Services, Arts Mid North Coast, Arts North West, and the Regional Arts Fund, reaching thousands of young people around Regional Australia.

“REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival’s aim is to find and develop the next wave of filmmakers from regional Australia,” said festival director Dave Horsley. “We’re excited this year to extend our footprint to reach even more young creatives”.

The workshops take place May through to August at high schools, universities, TAFEs, and youth centres in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen Shire, Nambucca Shire, Kempsey Shire, Armidale, Uralla, Mid-Coast, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, and Tweed Shire. Thank you to all regional councils that have supported this year’s workshop program in their communities.

As well as opening pathways for budding film-makers, REC Ya Shorts creates a space to destigmatise the wider conversation about youth mental health – offering themes which past entrants have explored through comedies, music videos, skate and surf vids, dramas, art films, and documentaries. Over 100 original short films have been produced for the festival over the last three years, along with awarding thousands of dollars in prizes.

Gary Maher, community engagement officer of Headspace Coffs Harbour, said: “Film is such a powerful medium and a fantastic way for young people from the regions to tell their stories. REC Ya Shorts helps provide a platform for young voices. The quality of films last year was extraordinary and covered some tough topics like bullying, invasive thoughts, and homelessness.”

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