Working on a local film festival with its annual competition has been a great success for our community access TV. Since Verizon and Comcast have departed from local access, newer and better programming is even more crucial to our survival. Here at ECAT, the Hockomock Film Festival not only creates interesting content, but also engages Easton residents as participants and viewers. We have spent over 10 years running our annual film making competition among the 13 towns of the Hockomock High School Sports League which we call the ‘The Hockomock Film Festival’. Film making teaches life skills: team building, production skills, to name just a few. College students at schools elsewhere are free to submit as well. Adults submit entries, but the 18 and below age group dominate. Over 400 films have been submitted.
We have spent over 10 years running our annual film making competition among the 13 towns of the Hockomock High School Sports League which we call the ‘The Hockomock Film Festival’. High schools are interested in our competition because film making teaches life skills: team building, production skills, to name just a few. College students at schools elsewhere are free to submit as well. Many adults submit entries, but the 18 and below age group dominate. Over 400 films have been submitted.
Above: Festival Founder Bill Ames and Head Judge Gino Del Guercio discuss the HFF
The annual budget is $3,000 and is funded each year by our local savings bank. This covers the awards with the remainder going towards the Awards Day and the web site. On the site resides: (1) the annual compilation video, (2) the updated entry form, (3) information relevant to the competition and (4) historical information from previous competitions. We also give many others recognition for their assistance.
Our Awards Day program is held at the Martin Center at Stonehill College. The film making workshop is first and starts at 12:30. Participants have two hours to produce a short 2-3 minute video assisted by HFF committee members (and shown later to the Awards Day audience at the start of the awards ceremony). At 3:00 we start the screening of the finalists. Lastly, at 5:00 the awards ceremony begins and we are done by 6:00. Usually there are about 50 to 70 attendees.
Above: Canton High School TV teacher Ed McDonough and filmmaker Dan Sheehy
The Sports League Model
The sports league model allows us to leverage existing relationships among schools and towns. Our most important task is to enlist faculty at each school as they are crucial to recruiting student film makers. We offer workshops and training to engage this younger demographic which helps us meet our community TV mission. The entries, awards ceremony, interviews, and related cable TV shows of the HFF amount to over 15 hours of programming on ECAT!
If you are interested in hearing more please give me a call at 508-230-7200.