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Youth Film Festival Coming to Screen Near You!

WESTPORT, Conn. – Aspiring teen filmmakers from around Fairfield County and beyond should mark Oct. 16 on their calendars. That's when the Westport Youth Film Festival kicks off its ninth season with an open house to introduce its new program coordinator, Evan Neidich.

Young auteurs will get to learn more about the festival and how they can get involved. They'll also get the chance to ask questions, watch some of the 2011 winning films and meet other teens with similar interests.

"Filmmakers need not be the only ones who apply," said Neidich, in a release. "There is room for entrepreneurs, artists, writers and those looking for experience in public relations, marketing and event planning."

Started in 2003 by three Weston High School students, the Westport Youth Film Festival–a program of the Westport Arts Center–is a managed by teens, for teens. Every year, it produces a daylong festival featuring high school student films from around the world.

Neidich, an animator, mixed media artist, illustrator and arts educator, grew up in Fairfield County. She recently received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a master's in art education from Tufts University. Before joining the program, she's taught at the Museum of Fine Arts and at Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County in Bridgeport.

As an artist, Neidich said she's passionate about fostering young artists and facilitating youth empowerment through the arts.

"WYFF is an incredible opportunity for teens to engage with every aspect of the production of a festival, and to develop professional competence," she said. "The teens who have been involved with WYFF have demonstrated over and over the determined capability of committed, passionate young people."

The Open House will begin at 2 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Ave., and is expected to last about two hours. Pizza will be served. For more information, visit the Westport Youth Film Festival Website or Facebook page, or contact Neidich at (203) 222-7070 or  at evan@westportartscenter.org.

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