AMES, Iowa--The first 4-H Film Festival at the 2010 Iowa State Fair showcased a variety of short films directed, acted and produced by 4-H’ers. The films ranged from comedic to abstract and gave the judges plenty to praise.
“The film festival gave 4-H youth the opportunity to be creative, have fun and learn some really useful skills,” said Holly Bignall, program coordinator for Iowa State University Extension Science, Engineering and Technology (E-SET). “When 4-H’ers participate in competitions, they are inspired to do their best while working together to accomplish a challenging task.”
Each film was produced by 4-H youth and incorporated the slogan, “It starts with Extension,” to recognize the partnership between Iowa 4-H youth and ISU Extension.
The top three films from each category — Just 4 Fun, Educate and Inspire — were showcased at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 13. Judges chose the Best of Festival and the winners of each category, while audience members voted for People’s Choice.
The judges were Caryn Lee Meeks, promotions director with KCWI, Ankeny; Ryan Bickel, director of marketing for Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines; and Jed Findlay, video producer with ISU Extension Communications and External Relations.
CATT Is Best of Festival
The judges chose the CATT production team, managed by Andrew Smith, as Best of Festival. The team’s film, A World Among Ourselves, follows one main character through a journey in the countryside and received top scores for film editing, technique and storyline.
I4HFF - A World Among Ourselves by Andrew from 4-H TV on Vimeo.
“This film embodied what I hope to see in film festivals,” said judge Jed Findlay, “a film that challenges the viewer, takes chances with every aspect of filmmaking, yet also keeps my full attention and entertains me.”
The CATT production team won an Apple iPad grand prize, a segment on KCWI and a guest host appearance on Zoo TV.
Smith and his team worked diligently to film, edit and create an engaging atmosphere in A World Among Ourselves.
“I spend close to three hours filming per 90 seconds of edited film to ensure perfection in every scene,” Smith said. “After seeing my ideas flow together in a way which allowed my vision to come alive, I knew my goal as a filmer (sic) was met.”
Zebb Wins People’s Choice and Inspire
The Zebb Productions team, managed by Isaak Webb, won the People’s Choice and Inspire categories. Voted as the favorite by film festival attendees, Anyone Can Swim attempted to inspire viewers to jump in the water.
“I wanted to teach everyone who watched the video that swimming can be competitive, fun and a life skill,” said Webb.
I4HFF - Anyone Can Swim by Zebb Productions from 4-H TV on Vimeo.
Caliaine Is Just 4 Fun
The Caliaine production team, managed by Caine Westergard, won the Just 4 Fun category. Clover Commitment, filmed by Westergard and her sister Cali, is a mock horror film featuring a giant 4-H clover as the antagonist.
I4HFF - Clover Commitment - Team Caliaine from 4-H TV on Vimeo.
“We laughed the entire time we worked on our video,” Westergard said. “We had plenty of fun and I know we both really enjoyed sharing this experience together.”
The film was creative, comical and fun to watch, according to film festival judges, and also gave 4-H a prominent role.
“We tried to cover several different areas of 4-H, from static exhibits to making friends as well as showing animals,” Westergard said. “We wanted to show that 4-H is fun and has something for everyone.”
Crazy Brick Wins Educate Category
The Crazy Brick production team won the Educate category. Nathan Siemsen managed the production of To Do or Not to Do. The film featured a group of 4-H friends experiencing the right way and the absolute wrong way to launch a rocket, greet a friend and other activities in a series of comical demonstrations. The Crazy Brick team was praised for its humorous take on the education category.
I4HFF - To do or not to do by Crazy Brick Productions from 4-H TV on Vimeo.
To view the winning films and other entries in the 4-H Film Festival, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/StateFair/filmfestival-submissions-2010.htm.
About the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America with programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. One in five Iowa school-age youth participates in 4-H. In Iowa, 4-H Youth Development is headquartered at the Iowa State University campus in Ames. 4-H is supported by federal, state and county funding, private grants and donations, and fees. For more information about joining 4-H, contact your Iowa State University Extension county office at www.extension.iastate.edu/content/county-offices/ or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/4H.
Holly Bignall, Extension Science, Engineering and Technology (E-SET), 515-294-2078,