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The Tree City Film Festival is on its way to Sylvania this spring.
Spearheaded by the Sylvania Community Arts Commission, the competitive event will give novice and experienced filmmakers alike just 50 hours to direct, shoot, and edit short films.
When the competition starts March 8, filmmakers will be given multiple components they must include in their films, as well as a few other stipulations.
Each team also will be told what genre of film to shoot, a mystery aspect of the competition that may catch some participants by surprise, said Jennifer Archer, the arts commission’s executive director.
“A team could come with one idea, and they may a draw a different genre,” she said.
Giving film-making teams rules to follow is part of the plan to level the competitive playing field. “... That’s part of the challenges. You find out you really have to run with it, and start that blank path right from there,” Ms. Archer said.
Film teams will use their own equipment, including sound devices and cameras.
But the commission wanted to make sure that students would be able to compete as well. Ms. Archer said part of the arts commission’s mission is to educate students about the arts.
“We want to make sure we’re offering students the same opportunity,” she said.
“It’s giving them another chance. ... Also for the college student, it’s going to be a chance to build something that can be put on their resume.”
The commission regularly conducts programs for area school students, but rarely does it include collegiate opportunities.
“We really try to engage different types of students for this activity,” Ms. Archer said.
The first-ever contest in Sylvania is perfect for diverse groups, she added, from younger students, to groups of mothers who want to get together and work on a project.
The deadline for entries is Feb. 22, with a fee of $35 for nonstudent teams and $25 for student teams.
Ms. Archer and co-chairmen Carol Del Signore and Nate Schank have worked with a committee to plan the festival.
The festivities are also aimed at bringing more people to downtown Sylvania, an ongoing project with several local groups, such as the Downtown Sylvania Association and the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re really trying to engage people and bring people into our city,” Ms. Archer said. “We want to bring people into Sylvania.”
After the filming weekend, judging will occur between March 18 and 29.
Once the winning entries have been determined, a weekend of screenings will take place starting April 12. Films produced by students will be shown at Maplewood Elementary School.
Other films will be shown at the Train Barn on the Sylvania Historical Village grounds.
Prizes include cash, up to $300 for the winning nonstudent team, and $150 for the winning student team.
For information about entering the contest, visit SylvaniaArts.org.