The 12th Annual ViewFinders Program

A Sweet Release...

The 12th ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth, April 14-20, announces full program

(Halifax, NS) – Produced by the Atlantic Film Festival, the 12th annual ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth is a week-long festival of film, video and media for youth. The event, based in Halifax, will take place from Tuesday, April 14 to Saturday, April 20.

Offering daytime screenings and workshops, targeting grades from Elementary through High School as well as evening and weekend screenings and activities for families, ViewFinders aims to inspire young people to find and broaden their own views of the world. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to experience hands-on media workshops, mentorship from film industry professionals and enjoy exposure to some of the best in national and international films. This year’s film program tackles important youth issues - such as multiculturalism and diversity, community and creativity as well as offering fresh perspectives from home and abroad.

"ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth has inspired a generation’s worth of students, teachers and parents,” said Jason Beaudry, ViewFinders Director.  “We are excited to welcome a new generation of ViewFinders participants who will continue to surprise and delight in what they bring to the Festival."

The Festival has selected Jason Buxton’s BLACKBIRD (trailer above ) as the Opening Gala Film, presented by Empire Theatres and Kid's Help Phone, taking place at Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Both set and produced in Atlantic Canada, BLACKBIRD is a film that explores the power and the danger of social media and cyber-bullying, while showing that the worst prisons are often the ones we create for ourselves. ViewFinders is very pleased to announce that one dollar from every ticket sold will go to support the endeavors of Kids Help Phone.

"It is a great honour to have my film BLACKBIRD open this year's Viewfinders Festival for Youth,” said Jason Buxton, director of BLACKBIRD. “While my story tackles the hot-button topics of bullying and gun violence, it is my primary wish that the film engage youth on an emotion level. I hope young people will find kinship with my characters, and in turn engage in conversation about both the film and its timely subjects."

On Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m., ViewFinders partners with Conseil communautaire du Grand-Havre and La Tournée du cinema québécois to present Gala Français, featuring Esimésac by esteemed Quebec filmmaker Luc Picard. The Gala Français will also feature the premiere of La vie de Léa, a ViewFinders Production made in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Education to address the importance of bilingualism.

The Green Screen Gala, on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m., Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing, will show jury-selected finalists of the Green Screen Film Competition. Finalists are eligible for the $1,000 Grand Prize for Energy Efficiency and the $1,000 Grand Prize for Waste Diversion, as well as prizes for both Junior High and High School entries. The Green Screen Film Competition stimulates dialogue and inspires youth-driven conservation action throughout Nova Scotia by offering youth in Grades 7 to 12 the opportunity to create films under five minutes about energy efficiency and waste diversion relevant to their communities. The evening’s activities are sponsored by Efficiency NS and the Resource Recovery Fund Board.

The much-anticipated ViewFinders Productions Gala, presented by Shaw Media, will take place on Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m., at Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing.  With support from a range of partners, ViewFinders will present its growing production program.  This program takes participating youth through a multi-day intensive workshop and film shoot, in which participants are mentored by top Nova Scotia film industry professionals, to tell the stories of their communities through the medium of film.

Saturday, April 20 is Youth Filmmaking Day at Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing, featuring a series of semi-finalist screenings throughout the day, for the NBCUniversal Film Challenge. The finalists selected at each semi-final screening, move on to the Film Challenge Finalists Screening at 7pm, Empire Theatre, Dartmouth Crossing.  This event offers aspiring filmmakers, from all over Atlantic Canada, the chance to present their work in front of family, friends and schoolmates.  Thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded during the finalists screening, including prizes for both live-action, documentary and animated films.  All finalists are eligible for prizing in the Audience Award category with winners decided by the audience in attendance.  To participate in this challenge, aspiring filmmakers must submit an application by Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m. To download the application, visit:

Tickets for above mentioned Galas and all ViewFinders films and activities are available now by phone at 902-420-4331 and online at here

For a full event schedule and more information click here

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