GRAND RAPIDS - The Mosaic Film Experience (MFE) is back - already touting more than 100 film submissions, representing 26 countries - bringing together young filmmakers to share similar stories through different lenses about their world and their lives.
The MFE was created as a juried film festival that offers hands-on learning for students and film enthusiasts; workshops and panel discussions by experienced national and international filmmakers; screenings of feature and documentary films; post-film talk-backs; and entertainment experiences. This year it is being held November 1-2 at the Wealthy Street Theatre.
"The idea behind Mosaic is to encourage young people to use film as a forum for conversations about diversity and the different views of their community and the world around them," says event founder Skot Welch. "In essence, their films are intended to give us a glimpse into the rich mosaic of our combined cultures, through young minds and voices that often aren't heard, or given credence to, in our community."
According to Welch, the all-volunteer MFE team has been meeting and planning year two of the "experience" for months. Deadline for entries is September 15; all the details, including entry guidelines and acceptable formats, can be found at mosaicfilmexperience.com/students.
"What we saw our first year with Mosaic was amazing and energizing, so we wanted to do it all over again, but with more of these young minds and voices involved," said Welch. The event theme of "similar stories, different lenses" will remain. "It is our platform for learning about our differences by showing us how similar we are - we all have similar stories, but we all bring a different lens to them," he said.
Film judging will begin soon after the entry deadline, and the 2013 featured nationally-acclaimed films are still under selection, according to event organizers. Tickets for the two-day event are not yet available, but details will be announced via the event website - www.mosaicfilmexperience.com - and via Facebook and Twitter later in September.
Cash prizes will again be awarded this year to the top three films from each category - high school and college student entries - with first place taking a $1,000 top prize. The 2012 winning entries can be found at mosaicfilmexperience.com/the-films.
Mosaic discovers and develops tomorrow's artists and audiences within local communities by sparking conversation and new ways of thinking, seeking to generate a lasting community dialogue using shared art, and sharing experiences and newfound skills. By providing access to screen writing and filmmaking classes, students of any skill level are given the skills necessary to create a short 12-minute (or under) film about their life, their viewpoints, and their world.