Rochester Teen Film Festival


Thursday, August 5 @ 5:30pm
Little Theatre 1 (240 East Ave)

FREE, and open to the public.
Film screening, awards ceremony, and reception.

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.


CDC guidelines recommend all unvaccinated persons maintain social distancing, and wear a mask at all times. This event will feature general admission (unassigned) seating, and audience members may self-distance at their own comfort level. Capacity may be limited, dependent upon attendance.

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

Daemen College
Full Measure

2021 Films

MATRIARCHY – dir. Noelle Nafus
A DAY IN THE LIFE – dir. Leah Chapman
Project L.A.W.N. – dir. Ava Gouvernet
BLACK LIVES MATTER – dir. Marcus Bonin
THE HIGH TIDE CLUB -dir. Jack Lindsey-Noble
KOORAN AND THE SUBLIGHTER – dir. William Pascarella
MILLIONS OF BLOB MONSTERS – dir. Eian-Gabriel Sinclair
SKI CLUB – dir. Gavin Nerone
HIT GIRLS – co-dirs. Jessi Opett & Annmarie Hubbel
STUDY BREAK – dir. Charlotte Raith
DOORS – dir. Jacob French

Schools Represented

Allendale Columbia, Bishop Kearney, Brighton, Churchville Chili, Geneseo, Pittsford Sutherland, Staples (Westport, CT), and homeschooled.

All filmmakers attending will be presented with a certificate recognizing their film.

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.