Statewide Filmmaking Competition finalist 'The Chalkening'.

Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) has revealed the participants in its AFF Youth Program, naming the nine jurors for its youth screening initiative and the 21 finalists in the Statewide Schools Filmmaking Competition.

Taking place at the end of this month, the program is designed to prepare the state’s next generation of filmmakers and screen professionals.

The AFF Youth Student Jury will judge the 60 Australian and international films in the screening program, while the statewide schools Filmmaking Competition finalists will see their films on the big screen and attend a red carpet gala premiere with AFF youth patron Tilda Cobham-Hervey.

Students Lilia, Jasper, Andrea, Cody, Ryza, Elijah, Loraine, Leah, and August will form the jury, representing Craigmore and Brighton High, as well as St Martin’s Lutheran College, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Tyndale Christian School, and Pembroke.

In his application to be a jury member, Elijah summed up the attitude of the group.

“I applied for the AFF Youth Jury because I love watching films and seeing what creative things other people can produce,” he said.

“I hope to gain experience, make contacts, and get ideas for filmmaking.

“Having never participated in something like this before, I think it will be a great learning experience.”

AFF Youth had 41 submissions to the Statewide Schools Filmmaking Competition, of which 21 were selected as finalists. The successful short films will be screened at a Red Carpet Gala event on Sunday, July 25, from 3pm at Palace Nova Eastend, with encore screenings on Friday, July 30.

The prize categories consist of Best South Australian Primary School Film ($500 cash prize), Best South Australian Middle School Film ($500 cash prize), University of South Australia and Rising Sun Pictures Best High School Film ($1,000 cash prize), and SA Power Networks People’s Choice Award ($1,000 cash prize) for the audience-favourite film created by South Australian students (available to high, middle or primary school).

Subject to border restrictions, the young filmmakers, jurors, and other AFF Youth attendees will get the opportunity to mix with the program’s special guests, including My Name is Gulpilil director Molly Reynolds, H is for Happiness stars Daisy Axon and Wesley Patten, When Pomegranates Howl director Granaz Moussavi, Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors stars Ezekiel and Nathan, as well as the series creator Vanna Morosini, series director Brad Gustafson, and host Ghenoa Gela.

First Day producer Kirsty Stark and H is for Happiness producer Julie Ryan are also attending.

AFF Youth is supported by the Department for Education, the Department for Innovation and Skills, and SA Power Networks.

SA Education Minister Josh Gardner congratulated the aspiring film critics and filmmakers of the initiative in what was an “extraordinarily exciting time” for the SA screen sector.

The AFF Youth program provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn and explore potential career pathways in this field and I thank those experienced screen professionals who are giving back to the film industry through this festival,” he said.

Find the full list of finalists here.

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