(Click Below To View Select Award-Winning Films)
It's OFFICIAL! The American Youth Festival Group (AYFG) successfully launched its film festival division, The American Youth Film Festival (AYFF) on June 12 - 13 at the Columbus State University Center for International Education. The launch event began with screenings for invited youth from the Boys & Girls Club, the Columbus Community Center, the YMCA, and Girls Inc. The screenings featured the creative works of student film makers from around the world. In addition, the students took part in panel discussions and workshops featuring industry professionals, actress and film maker Stacy Cunningham (www.StacyCunningham.com) and actress, image consultant and multi-media producer Alima Albari (www.AlimaIndustries.com and www.StudioNinetyTwo.com). Stacy Cunningham, whose credits includes over 40 stage and screen productions including an upcoming episode of Tyler Perry's "If Loving You Is Wrong," discussed her experiences in the entertainment industry and moderated the panel discussion with student film makers Linnea McGinness, Brandon Todd, and Alvin Cade, Jr. Alima Albari, whose industry experience includes film, music video & event production, talent booking & model representation, conducted a talent workshop and explained to the students the importance of image in the entertainment industry.
The launch event's second day continued with movie screenings and workshops attended by students from area middle schools, high schools and colleges and the evening concluded with a VIP screening and reception for invited guests from the City of Columbus and Phenix City as well as their respective chambers of commerce, visitors bureaus, school boards and the Columbus Film Commission. Those in attendance were also treated to a question & answer session, via Skype video conferencing, with Los Angeles, CA-based producer Ian Mallahan, an Emmy nominated producer whose past credits include Survivor, Undercover Boss, American Chopper and he is currently the Executive Producer of HGTV"s "Ellen's Design Challenge" with Ellen DeGeneres. Mr. Mallahan fielded a variety of industry questions ranging from how to break into the entertainment industry to how one would go about funding various entertainment projects. He also shared his background and how he persevered through various production assignments to reach his current position with Ellen DeGeneres.
The evening concluded with the announcement that the AYFF is accepting "Film Entries" for the 2016 American Youth Film Festival and recognition of the inaugural American Youth Film Festival Award Recipients.