Local Youth's Short Film, [[In Our Eyes]], Gets World Premiere at AJFF 2016


In Our Eyes, a short film on the theme of tolerance will have its world premiere in the 2016 AJFF Shorts Program 2. What's so special about this particular short film?

It was produced as part of Atlanta’s Camp Flix summer filmmaking program. Roswell resident, and 12-year-old, Charli Shapiro directed the film, while 14-year-old Maddi Bernard of Sandy Springs served as editor and cinematographer. That makes them, officially, AJFF's youngest ever filmmakers.

AJFF Partners with Camp Flix

At Camp Flix, kids age 11 to 17 are taught filmmaking skills, from screenwriting to directing to sound and lighting. Local filmmaking professionals and film experts are on hand to help train the campers, who are put into film crews and given one week to make a short film. Each film has to be three minutes or less.  

“The overnight campers work on a second, more cause-related and personal project at night and this past summer Camp Flix’s theme was ‘tolerance,’" says Tom Karsch, founder of Camp Flix.  AJFF partnered with the program, agreeing to evaluate all the films for entry in the 2016 festival.

"This was an opportunity for the kids to really speak about the issues of the day and how they were affecting them personally. It was an eye-opening project that produced four really interesting short films," says Karsch.

Out of the four, In Our Eyes was chosen for the festival, but the film had to go through the same process as every other film considered. None of the films were guaranteed a spot in the lineup.

Karsch adds, “To maintain the integrity of AJFF, the films were judged on their own merits. They were not held to a lesser standard because they were produced by kids. These young talents are certainly no less dedicated than adult filmmakers. To see them come up with the concept, shoot and edit, and end up with such a strong piece in only five days is a testament to their passion.”

More About the Film

In Our Eyes was conceptualized, produced and shot inside the Chapel on the Emory University campus, with a crew and cast comprised entirely of Camp Flix overnight campers. Two counselors, Sasha Freger and OK Keyes, oversaw the students as they worked on the project. The film features a powerful conceit, with individuals identities literally written on their faces. The film lets the stunning visuals speak for themselves, illustrating how both our own self-perceptions, and the projected labels others give us, impact each of us.

See In Our Eyes along with the amazing shorts that accompany it when Shorts Program 2 screens at AJFF.