FilmFest 4-H

Developing life skills through filmmaking

FilmFest 4-H is a national film festival for youth that are filmmakers, visual artists, aspiring actors, and those that are just interested in meeting other creative people. FilmFest helps youth become producers, not just consumers, of digital media.

FilmFest 4-H takes place in a 4-H environment. Imagination, fun, and curiosity are essential! Cameras, smart phones, and mobile devices are strictly encouraged. Courtesy and creativity are always in style.

Register here Film Submission packet (PDF) View resources


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    Competition categories

    • Narrative – A film which tells a story. Can be based on fact or fiction.
    • Documentary – A film which presents factual information about a person, event or process.
    • Animation – A film created by techniques that simulate movement from individual images.
    • Promotional – This category is for films or public service announcements that are meant to publicize 4-H programs or some other cause that you are passionate about.
    • Voices of 4-H History – A historical perspective on 4-H. May be a narrative, documentary, animation, etc.
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    Frequently asked questions

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      Why should I consider FilmFest 4-H?

      Because this is the single best opportunity for youth to have this level of access and experience with the film industry without spending thousands of dollars.

      For many youth, some part of filmmaking (editing, acting, prop making, scriptwriting, visual arts, etc.) is their "spark," that special something that motivates and drives them from deep within. 4-H Positive Youth Development is all about helping youth find and nurture those sparks, to help put them on a positive trajectory in ways that last a lifetime!

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      What do I need to attend FilmFest 4-H?

      An All Access Pass and a chaperone. The passes (one for you, one for your chaperone) can each be purchased on the main page of this website when they become available.

      Lodging details will be available in this space when arrangements are finalized.

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      Do I need a parent or chaperone with me?

      Either one will do! As with every 4-H event, youth must have a responsible adult attached to them. That adult can be a parent or a chaperone for an entire a group, just like any other 4-H event.

      The adult will also need to purchase an All Access Pass.

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      Do I have to be a filmmaker, or enrolled in a 4-H film project, to attend the film festival?

      Absolutely not. Most participants are teens (and their adults) with an interest in things like film, acting, visual arts, stagecraft, digital media, special effects, makeup, etc.

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      Isn't there a registration form?

      Registration is all electronic. Many of our attendees come as part of a 4-H group, and the group itself may have forms to fill out (such as registration, health, and photo release forms), in accordance with their state's 4-H policies.

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      Do I have to stay at the FilmFest event space?

      No, but it does give you the best experience and can save you money. You will be on-site for everything, and get an attractive FilmFest conference rate.

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      What is covered in the All Access Pass?

      Your All Access Pass covers all workshops, events and festivities of FilmFest 4-H, lunches Monday and Tuesday, and a fun field trip on Tuesday evening. You are on your own for lodging, evening meals Monday and Tuesday, as well as evening entertainment on Monday.

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      What does the schedule look like?

      The details of the daily schedule are still being finalized, but it will follow the same general pattern as our last several years. There is a fun gathering on Sunday evening, with light fingerfood-type fare. On Monday and Tuesday there are workshops in the morning and afternoon, with lunch provided. Everyone is on their own in the evenings, but there are restaurants and shops within walking distance. Wednesday morning’s schedule includes more film-related activities and the awards ceremony, with FilmFest ending shortly before noon.

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      What do the workshops entail?

      FilmFest 4-H workshops are where film industry professionals teach professional techniques and practices. They tell you about what they do, how they do it, and explore ways that some of these practices can be accomplished on a teenager’s budget. You can also ask all the questions you like!

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      Will I get a chance to meet any of the film industry professionals?

      Yes, and they actually enjoy that a great deal. Beyond the interactive workshops, there are opportunities tochat with them afterwards, and even get pictures and an autograph if you wish. Many of our presenters like to sit in on the other workshops, attend the screenings, and enjoy FilmFest experience themselves.

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      What's the policy on social media and mobile devices at FilmFest?

      Social media is encouraged, and selfies are totally legit. The hashtag is #FilmFest4H and you can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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      When is the deadline to submit a film?

      The deadline is July 1. For all film categories (see below) except One Minute Movie's, the submission fee is $15/film through June 1 and $20/film from June 2 to July 1. For One Minute Movie films, the fee is $5/film through June 1 and $15/film from June 2 through July 1. The link for the film submission form is on the home page.

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      Do I have to attend in person to submit a film?

      No, but those who put in the time and effort to travel across the country for FilmFest 4-H do get rewarded. Youth who do not attend can still submit films for competition, have their films screened, and may place. However, only the youth who actually attend FilmFest 4-H will be eligible for prizes. If a 3rd place finisher is not present, for example, they still win 3rd place but the 4th place finisher who is present will be awarded their prize.

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      Can I just catch it next year?

      One exciting thing about FilmFest 4-H is that each year may be the last...but we know it's happening in 2019!

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    Travel information

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      On location

      FilmFest 4-H will take place in Columbia, Mo. on the University of Missouri campus. Rates will be announced as soon as contracts are finalized.

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      In the air

      The Columbia Regional Airport (COU) is the closest option, approximately 15 minutes from the MU Campus. The FilmFest team will be glad to help you with COU pickup/drop-off.

      The Kansas City International Airport (MCI) is approximately 2 hours and 12 minutes (146 miles) away from Columbia, and the St. Louis International Airport (STL) is approximately 2 hours away (125 miles). Those flying in to Kansas City (MCI) or St. Louis (STL) may choose to rent a car or take the convenient MO-X shuttle.

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      On the ground

      Once you're at FilmFest 4-H, transportation to all off-site FilmFest activities will be provided. For evening entertainment on your own, check out the Mizzou Visitors Guide!

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      Getting in

      Every festivalgoer must have an All Access Pass, purchased in advance. Your All Access Pass covers all workshops, events and festivities of FilmFest 4-H, lunches Monday and Tuesday, and a fun field trip on Tuesday. You are on your own for lodging, evening meals Monday and Tuesday, as well as evening entertainment on Monday. There are entertainment options within walking distance of the hotel.

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      Lunches are included with your All Access Pass. Dinner is on your own, but there are several affordable restaurants within walking distance. For a look at local dining options, check out the Mizzou Visitors Guide!