ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Teen creators will get to see their work on the big screen this Thursday at The Little Theatre, through the Rochester Teen Film Festival.

Thursday will mark the final portion of the festival. The contest was open to any teen in the greater Rochester area aged 13-18, with all submissions judged by a jury.

Finalists were selected for this upcoming showing, which begins at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and includes a showing, award ceremony, and reception.

The following films will be shown, with four cash prizes to be awarded:

  • RESIDENTIAL EVIL – Harrison & Jack Saxon (students at Animatus Studio) 
  • DO NOT DISTURB – Emma Barstow (Victor)
  • THE COST – Luka Galle (Innovation Tech – Cazenovia)
  • THE UNATTAINABLE DREAM: Redlining in Rochester NY – Genesis Gonzalez (Edison Career & Technology High School)
  • ANOTHER – Beatrix Wun (Allendale Columbia)
  • THE KEY – Samuel Owens (Webster Schroeder)
  • TEN – Rowan Wilkens & Arianna Knolla (Pittsford Mendon)
  • AMAZING PEOPLE – Patrick O’Connor Mason (Kenmare Youth Film – Ireland)
  • OLD WORLD – Andrei Campbell (GST Wildwood BOCES – Prattsburgh)
  • SHOTGUN – Evan Breckman (Newark Academy – NJ)

The awards are as follows:

The Philip Seymour Hoffman Award honors the life and legacy of the late Academy Award-winning actor and Fairport, New York native.  The annual award is given to the teen who’s film is chosen by the judges as “Best of Fest.”  The award was established in association with the Hoffman family with funds raised during The Little Theatre’s Philip Seymour Hoffman Tribute Film Series.

Alex Ketchek Award for Best Animated Film is presented in memory of Alex Ketchek, a 2010 Rochester Teen Film Festival finalist who tragically passed away in 2013.

The Jack Garner Award for Best Director is a new annual award in the memory of long time RTFF jury member and much beloved and spirited national film critic. It is given through the support of Bonnie Garner and the Garner family. 

The Marilyn O’Connor Award is presented to a film that addresses a social issue through the lens of compassion, equity and social justice.  Marilyn O’Connor has never crossed a picket line.  She’s been fighting for equality and justice as a youth, a parent, a public defender and Family Court Judge.  She was recognized for mentoring young women in the practice of law as the recipient of the NYS Women’s Bar Association’s Betty Weinberg Ellerin’s Mentoring Award and was one of the founders of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, an organization that supports and encourages women in the legal community.

The event is sponsored by WXXI and The Little Theater, and is meant to “[honor] the work of urban, suburban, and rural teen filmmakers and [provide] young people an authentic opportunity to participate in a real film festival.”