Submissions open through Sept. 1
— Highland Square Neighborhood Association will host the first-ever Highland Square Film Festival, Saturday, Sept. 29, from 2 to 6 p.m. at The Highland Theatre, 826 W. Market St.
Funded by the Knight Foundation, the film fest will encourage local filmmakers of all ranges of expertise to tell their Akron-inspired stories.
The event kicks off at 2 p.m. with a panel discussion of notable local filmmakers, led by Akron native and comedian Rhea Butcher, who will also serve as a celebrity emcee.
Following the panel, attendees will view the films submitted by finalists from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and a group of judges will select the winners. First place winner will receive $1,000, and second place will be awarded $500, the night of the festival.
Experienced filmmakers are welcome, but for those who’ve never made a movie before, the criteria are simple: create a film that’s 5 minutes or less, upload it to YouTube, and email the link to [email protected], along with a $20 submission fee through the PayPal link, www.paypal.me/highlandsquare. (Please note when paying that the fee is for the film fest, along with your name.)
To be considered, the films need to be Akron-centric, whether you use the city in a starring role or as a supporting character. Submissions are due Sept. 1 by midnight.
The Highland Square Neighborhood Association also will share a toolbox of resources for participants and a bank of local music created by artists Eriq Troi and Scott Roger, to be used by filmmakers entering the festival.
To access the score music, visit bit.ly/HSFilmFestMusic. For the filmmakers toolbox, visit bit.ly/HSFilmFestToolbox. The resources also will be available on the association’s website (www.highlandsquareakron.org).
The film fest is free and open to the public. A panel discussion with local filmmakers starts at 2 p.m., and selected films will be shown from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with an award ceremony that directly follows: a $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to the first-place winner; and $500 will be given to the the second-place winner.
Attendees will be able to vote for an Audience Choice Award for the crowd’s favorite film, whose creator will win a “Super Swag Bag” filled with goodies donated from local businesses. Bechdel Fest, another Knight-funded project, will give away an additional $100 cash prize to the top film that passes the Bechdel Test (or a movie where at least two women talk to each other about something other than a man).
For info about the Highland Square Film Festival, visit www.highlandsquareakron.org.