For the hundreds of students who enter the Keller ISD Film Festival each year, the days before winter break have been crunch time as they prepare their films for submission.This year, kids have more time to put their videos together as the deadline moves to after spring break in March. The awards ceremonies are set for May 8 at Timber Creek High School.“We had a lot of feedback from teachers whose students had a hard time trying to get their entries done before winter break,” said Matt Hill, film fest organizer and KISD media coordinator.The festival guidelines allow submissions for films made in the previous year, so the change will line it up more with the school year rather than the calendar year, Hill said.More than 300 films were entered last year. For the festival’s sixth year, most of the contest reamins the same, with divisions for elementary, middle grades and high school. Categories include story, documentary, comedy, instructional, animation and music video.After looking at survey results, Hill decided to replace the Weekend Challenge category with a special public service announcement category.Participation in the Weekend Challenge was not as high as Hill would have liked and PSAs could be put to good use in the district. The focus in this year’s PSA category is in district workplace safety.Hill worked with Billy Kidd, director of facilities, on what aspects would need to be addressed. Similar to the old Weekend Challenge, entries will need to include certain elements. The winning videos may be used in staff training.“It gives students a focus if they want to enter but are unsure about what to do,” Hill said.Another new feature this year is a contest for poster designs. The winning entry can be used for next year’s contest.Hill is also working with the Keller ISD Education Foundation to improve participation from businesses and get better prizes.“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to get them involved,” he said.
Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231 Twitter: @SandraEngelland