CineYouth Festival Awards Top Films, Celebrates Student Filmmaking

CHICAGO, IL – The 10th annual CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival was held May 8-10, 2014, concluding with an awards ceremony that honored the best films made by student filmmakers 21 years old and younger. The CineYouth Festival is a vital part of the Chicago International Film Festival’s year-round Education Outreach Program. The Chicago International Film Festival is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

CineYouth, held at Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Theater, featured screenings of 75 short films made by student filmmakers from around the world, including an hour of experimental films and music videos and an hour dedicated to films made in Chicago and Illinois. A total of 12 awards were given, including the Chicago Award, given to the Free Spirit Media documentary “Redmoon Summer Parks Series,” made by filmmakers Paris (Twiggy) Brown and Montel Williams, both age 21.  The award was presented to Brown and Williams at CineYouth Opening Night by evening guest Fred Savage, who also delighted attendees with his candid discussion of his career as an actor, director and producer, and spoke encouragingly regarding the impressive CineYouth films he had seen and the importance of supporting emerging filmmakers.

Sixteen-year-old Best Animated Film award winner Dylan Jekels, from Chicago said, “It’s not about where you have been, it is about where you are going,” while accepting her award for the animated film “A Woman of Charcoal.” Additional winners hailed from Italy, Canada, Washington, California and Virginia. Camilo Gonzalez, a teaching artist from the Aurora Picture Show in Houston, Texas – which won the Best Experimental Film Award for the film “The World I Imagine” – said, “I would like to thank the CineYouth Festival for creating a space for our students to believe in their ideas and see them reach places they never thought possible.”

Winning films will be shown in their entirety at the CineYouth “Best of the Fest” screening at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival in October.

Additional details and the full list of CineYouth films and winners can be found at

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The CineYouth Festival is one of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival, the Hugo Television Awards, Intercom Competition, International Screenings Program, Black Perspectives and Education Outreach.