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National 4-H film festival links youth with professionals

Media contact:

Bradd Anderson
State 4-H Youth Development Specialist
4-H Center for Youth Development
Phone: 573-884-0576
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4-H’ers learn filmmaking on the cheap

Photo available for this release:

Visual effects artist Wyatt Weed stands next to a model spacecraft he made from PVC pipe and other common items. Weed was a presenter at the recent FilmFest 4-H in Branson, Mo.

Credit: Photo by Linda Geist

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

BRANSON, Mo.– Young filmmakers from eight states gathered in Branson, Mo., in August to learn from film industry professionals at the 2013 FilmFest 4-H. Now in its third year, this national 4-H film festival has become a haven for youth with an interest in moviemaking.

“I have been in 4-H for 11 years and FilmFest has been the most beneficial event I have ever attended,” said Shawna Scott of Jefferson City, Mo. “I had a grand time and got to do some valuable networking.”

FilmFest 4-H presenters included veteran Hollywood cinematographer Denis Maloney, “Star Trek” makeup artist Jeff Lewis, “Shadowland” writer/director Wyatt Weed, and other top professionals who volunteer their time.

“Being in 4-H is about exploring your interests to develop life skills,” said University of Missouri Extension state 4-H youth specialist Bradd Anderson, who leads the event. “We harness the interests of youth with the skills of caring adults to develop skills that foster success.”

The opportunity to interact and “take a meeting” with professionals of this caliber is not lost on the youth. “He was amazing!” one teen exclaimed on Twitter after meeting with Maloney about his film.

In all, 38 films from 11 states were selected for screening at the festival. From ghosts and spies to a CGI animated short, the films covered much ground in narrative, documentary, animation, 4-H promotional and historical formats.

FilmFest 4-H was created from a partnership between Missouri 4-H and the Missouri Film Commission, supporting the goal of positive youth development.

“The commission connects us to the film industry and to top-notch professionals who are genuinely good people as well,” said Anderson.

As mentors and teachers, these film professionals also look forward to the experience. “The interactions I have with each of the participants energize my career and motivate me to try new techniques and achieve higher goals in my work,” said four-time Emmy winner Russell Weston. “It's also an opportunity for me to give back to an organization that helped make my daughter the remarkable young woman she is today.”

About 7 million youth participate in 4-H programs, which are administered by 109 land-grant universities and 3,100 university extension offices. Visit to learn more about FilmFest 4-H, and to find a 4-H club near you.


Top finishers in each category:


First Place
Payton Hubbard (Marshall, Ark.)

Second Place
Hanson Alford, Darren Kurtz, Wyatt Plank, and Zach Suell (Springfield, Tenn.)

Third Place
Elisa and Maranda Vandergriff (Powell, Tenn.)


First Place
Elisa and Maranda Vandergriff (Powell, Tenn.)

Second Place
Bailey Robinson-Burmester (Woodland, Calif.)

Third Place
Peter Prestrud (Jackson, Wyo.)


First Place
Payton Hubbard (Marshall, Ark.)

Second Place
Adam Heironimus (Springfield, Mo.)

Third Place
Brittany Berger and Kelsey Hiblae (Dickinson, N.D.)

4-H Promotional

First Place
Lauren Clemence (Mount Laurel, N.J.)

Second Place
Darren Kurtz and Wyatt Plank (Springfield, Tenn.)

Third Place
Shawna Scott (Jefferson City, Mo.)

Voices of 4-H History

First Place
Amanda Jones (St. George, Utah)

Second Place
Elsa Althoff, Audrey Chairvolotti, Madeline Chairvolotti, Caroline
Coleman and Charlotte Coleman (Grand Isle, Vt.)

Third Place
Jordan Bolinger (Catawba, S.C.)

Audience Favorite

Cameron and Gage Milton (Southlake, Texas)