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Students Pick Talent for Westport Film Festival

The Westport Youth Film Festival's board of directors — high school students from five schools throughout Fairfield County — camped out at the Weston Public Library on the weekend of March 20 with a mission. They screened more than 200 high school student films from around the world that were submitted to the 2011 Westport Youth Film Festival and chose the best entries for this year's festival.

Out of all the submissions, the team accepted a collection of 50 entries in a variety of categories to be shown at the May 14 festival at the Fairfield Community Theatre in Fairfield. Seven of 50 submissions are from international youth filmmakers from Switzerland, Israel, Norway and Denmark. Sixteen of the accepted submissions come from Connecticut students in Bridgeport, Greenwich, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Weston and Westport.

"We were thrilled with the outstanding quality of WYFF's over 200 film submissions this year, and are very excited to screen the 50 selected films at WYFF on May 14," said festival Program Director Kate Lupo. "WYFF is excited to showcase these films from the next generation of great filmmakers."

Seniors Matt Lindahl and Alanna Morton represent Staples High School and Westport in the festival.

Matt, who will attend Emerson College in the fall to major in film, developed an interest in filmmaking during his freshman year and has been working on various projects since then. His film "Light" follows a young man who experiences depression while roaming through his hometown.

"WYFF is a great opportunity for young filmmakers to make their works public," Matt said. "I am interested in seeing what other people my age are making and what their films are like."

Alanna's film, "The End of You, Too," is a stop-motion animation film, which promotes recycling, featuring music from the band Metronomy. Alanna has been accepted into a few New York film schools, one of which she plans on attending next year. She has a passion for animation.

"I really enjoy animation because it involves many different mediums," Alanna said. "I used all recycled materials in my film not just because Mother Earth is lovely, but also because it also adds a special quality to the finished product."

Westport Youth Film Festival, a program of the Westport Arts Center, is the only film festival in the world produced by teens and featuring films made by teens. Every year, it produces a daylong festival that features high school student films from around the world, as well as panel discussions with industry professionals, workshops, filmmaker roundtables, music and more.

For tickets or more information about this year's festival , visit the festival online or contact Kate Lupo at 203-222-7070 or by email .

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