The film festival is open to high school/junior high students in and around the Midwest states.
The Golden Lion Awards High School Film Festival is the only non-profit, youth focused, regional event of its kind in the country. The film festival provides opportunities for young filmmakers to meet, improve skills, and learn from industry professionals. The event includes a catered reception, film screenings, musical entertainment, a college fair, and an awards ceremony.
The judging panel includes 120+ industry professionals located throughout the country. During the festival, 33 award-winning films are screened. The long narrative and long documentary categories are screened at a separate location/time, and winners are recognized during the awards ceremony along with category finalists. Throughout the festival, all submissions are available for viewing on laptops. Winners in each film category receive either a Golden Lion, White Lion, or Mountain Lion award. At the end of the show, judges vote on Special Recognition Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Most Inspirational, and Best of Show.
In its 9th year, the Golden Lion Awards continues to make an impact on students’ lives. “As a young writer, filmmaker, artist, the most meaningful thing to you is affirmation. Just hearing from someone else that what you have to say is important and that there is a future ahead of you in the arts is akin to being told that you have a voice at all. I am where I am today because in high school I was told—through the Golden Lion Awards and through various kind teachers—that my words deserved an audience. When I won the Golden Lion Awards for best Scriptwriting with my friend, it really confirmed for me that my stories could be powerful and impactful to an audience." -Zoe Cheng, Walnut Hills ‘15; USC Cinematic Arts Major ‘19
Film submission are being accepted online at www.goldenlionfilmfestival.com or through FilmFreeway at filmfreeway.com/GoldenLionAwardsHighSchoolFilmFestival.
The film festival is curated by the programming team, including Executive Director, Ann T. Brinkmann, and Associate Director, Tess White.
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