Area youth invited to submit films about Jewish experiences

The Katz JCC’s Cherry Hill Volvo Jewish Film Festival has been a cultural staple in South Jersey for over a decade, showcasing the best in Jewish films from all over the world. This year, the introduction of the Youth Film Festival brings the love of film to the youth in the community.

Kids throughout the South Jersey region in grades 1-12 are invited to tell their story with a two- to ten-minute short film, (narrative, animation or music video). Films can be made on any mobile device, tablet, computer, or camera and should be creative, expressive and original. Video/film productions must have a Jewish theme that relay a personal Jewish experience or the Jewish experiences of others, such as family members or individuals you may not know, whether locally or in another part of the world. Submissions may also explore Jewish values and traditions or perhaps share an opinion or show a perspective on any contemporary, historic or social issue impacting Jews in the United States, Israel, or in any other location in the world.

Barbara Flacker, a JCC member and volunteer who has enjoyed working with the Katz JCC Cherry Hill Volvo Cars Jewish Film Festival Committee, has joined the efforts as the chair for the youth film festival. She was passionate about bringing a cultural event for children to the community, and this was a perfect fit for her.

“We want to offer a fun and creative experience using technology that, in these days, is virtually in every child’s hands,” Flacker said. “With the help of innovations like cell phones with cameras built right in, children can reflect on their Jewish experience and become pretty sophisticated storytellers within minutes.”

Suzanne Post, a JCC staff member whose son Antony is a young filmmaker, knows firsthand how much fun and creative this art form can be. “We wanted to find a simple and fun way to promote awareness, appreciation and pride in Jewish heritage. Our mission is to take our diverse and shared culture and inspire and educate youth through filmmaking. We are so excited to screen the submissions!”

The films created by the finalists will be screened on Sunday, Apr. 2, as part of the day-long ABC Jr. celebration at the Katz JCC, a hands on interactive day of cultural activities for kids.

The deadline for all submissions is Wednesday, Mar. 15. For more information and contest guidelines, please visit katzjcc.org/film or contact Suzanne Post at (856) 424-4444, ext. 1226 or spost@jfedsnj.org

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