Workshops train next generation of filmmakers

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BELOIT—The Beloit International Film Festival wants to help launch the career of tomorrow's Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino.

Starting Nov. 9, organizers of the annual film fest—affectionately known as BIFF—will offer seven free film workshops for students in grades six through 12.

The workshops will take participants through the process of making their own films, from story to script to editing to screen.

Students even might want to submit their films for judging in the 2014 BIFF Student Filmmakers Showcase next February.

Beloit Public Library and Drywater Productions are teaming up with BIFF on the effort. Filmmakers Stephen and Cameron Pickering, who own Drywater Productions, will lead the classes with help from technical staff at JATV, Janesville's local public-access TV channel.

The Pickerings have had their films shown at BIFF and have years of practical experience.

Workshops meet on four Saturdays, Nov. 9-30, at the Beloit Public Library. Students then practice their skills at after-school workshops Wednesdays, Nov. 13, 20 and 27, at Janesville's Hedberg Public Library.

Buses from Beloit Memorial High School will provide transportation.

“Film and video are the media with which today's young people are most comfortable in expressing themselves,” Kristin Peterson, BIFF education director and coordinator of the Student Filmmakers programs, said in a news release.

Eighteen students completed the workshops last year, and several submitted work for judging, she said.

BIFF will feature more than 100 independent films and shorts during its run Feb. 14-23 at venues in Beloit, Janesville and Rockford, Ill.

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