At Gig Harbor Film Festival, we believe that the art of storytelling, especially through film, has the power to draw people together. In our very own community, we saw this principle come to life at this year’s 72 Hour Film Competition.
Always a popular event with the younger crowd, the 2018 72 Hour Film Competition saw an unprecedented number of submissions from teams of local school-aged kids. These kids blew us away with their enthusiasm and drive for their projects. The films they created were incredibly well planned, creative and thoughtful. It was extremely touching to see the excitement on their faces as they arrived on screening day to share their creations on the big screen with the many family, friends and community supporters who filled 3 sold out theatres at the Galaxy.
The huge success of this event is what inspired us to develop the Gig Harbor Film Festival Youth Initiative. If you’re familiar with the theory of change, you’ll know that when optimally stimulated, a young mind is capable of busting out of its box and reaching new creative and imaginative heights. It is at these elevated peaks of creativity and imagination through engagement in the arts, that new pathways for more sophisticated thought and ability are paved. With the arts in crisis in our schools, we feel strongly compelled to employ the theory of change, in collaboration with local educators, to enhance the lives and learning experiences of our children.
We have committed to build an educational component into the 72-Hour Film Competition, add a student media festival to our annual fall event, add a scholarship program to our budget, establish film camps for summer school breaks, and help with the creation of film clubs at our schools. In support of our belief in the power of film, we’ll also offer full-time students free admission to our festival films. As Steven Spielberg says, “It’s all about making kids feel like they can do anything”, and that’s how we want our kids in Gig Harbor to feel. We will strive to ensure that each and every one of our children has access to the transformative power of the arts through film, and equip them for a very bright future indeed.