Rochester Teen Film Festival


Thursday, August 3, 2023 | 5:30pm
Little Theatre 1 (240 East Ave)

WXXI Public Media and The Little Theatre are proud to sponsor the Rochester Teen Film Festival, a collaborative, juried media competition for youth (13-18 years old) in the Rochester region, honoring the work of urban, suburban, and rural teen filmmakers and providing young people an authentic opportunity to participate in a real film festival.

The biggest congratulations to the talented filmmakers at this year’s Rochester Teen Film Festival. Here’s the 2023 list of award recpients:
🎬 TRUMPET PRACTICE // Eli Jeffery // Philip Seymour Hoffman Best of Festival Award //Penfield High School
🎬 THE HUNT // Sam Owens // Jack Garner Award for Best Director // Webster Schroeder High School
🎬 HOMELESSNESS IN ROCHESTER // Michelle Meletiche // Marilyn O’Connor Award for Social Justice // East Upper School
🎬 NURSING SHORTAGE IN AMERICA // Alejandra Sanchez Colon // Best Public Awareness Film // Edison Career & Technology High School
🎬 Cúinas // Misha McCarthy // Best Acting // SONAR, Kerry, Ireland
🎬 FLY OR DIE // Kyshawn White // Best Editing & Visual Effects // Greece Arcadia High School
🎬 I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE // Clyde Sheridan // Best Cinematography // High School of Art & Design, Astoria, NY
🎬 65 MILLION YEARS LATER // Jack & Harrison Saxon // Alex Ketchek Award for Best Animated Film //Animatus Studio
High Schools & organizations include (in alphabetical order): Animatus Studio, East, Edison Career & Technology, Greece Arcadia, High School of Art & Design (NYC), Penfield, SONAR (county Kerry, Ireland) and Webster Schroeder.

This event will feature general admission (unassigned) seating, and concessions will be open for sale (eating in the lobby and auditorium). 

The Rochester Teen Film Festival and showcase event is made possible with support from:

Daemen College
Full Measure

Awards and Judging

All submissions are judged by a jury and finalists have been selected to have their films shown at the Little Theatre. The young filmmakers selected as part of this year’s festival will also have a chance to earn one of the following four awards, each of which comes with a cash prize:

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.