Film It! Fest debuts movies from citywide filmmaking challenge

The Film It! Challenge concludes this week, and Evanston fifth- through eighth-graders are finding their inner Jordan Peele or Mindy Kaling or Martin Scorsese.

In partnership with D65, EvanSTEM, Y.O.U. , Family Focus, and Northwestern University, the Film It! Challenge is in its second year having grown from the Library’s Code It! Challenge. It was an idea chosen by the students. And on July 28, Evanston will be treated to the combination of imagination and tools.

The students are coming up with their own scripts and getting instruction on recording sound and editing. In fact, there is a plethora of tutorial materials available through the web site, as well as attending workshops through the Library’s Experimental Film Club (July 20 and July 27). This summer’s iteration of the club focuses on experimental film and video.

“The plan is to facilitate a monthly film club that will go year-round during the off-season,” says Heather Lindahl, library assistant for Innovation and Digital Learning. “Since we are starting in summer, we decided to make it weekly during the Film it! Challenge so that if Challenge participants wanted to, they could use their time in club to develop a Challenge project.”

In Experimental Film Club, each week participants view an experimental short that has been carefully curated by Library staff. The kids discuss it and have a chance to make creative responses to what they saw. This allows them to become acquainted with different ways of working in this medium than they might otherwise have been.

One session, a participant asked the group, “I wonder what just happened – what went through our minds?’ This opened a discussion about the creative process, and how you can begin working without a fully-formed idea, allowing something to take shape through the process of experimenting and collaborating.

The Film It! Fest showcase will be held at Mason Park beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, and will be complete with a walk of fame and ice cream. Register at

For more information on the Film It! Challenge, visit


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