Arlington Film Festival focuses on young people around the world

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The 12th Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) presents “Voices of Our Youth,” its annual student film program, at noon on Saturday, November 5, at the Capitol Theater.

“We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Best of Festival in the student category will be here with us from Spain,” said Alberto Guzman, co-founder of the festival. He’s referring to ShiJie Weng, who directed the eight-minute docu-drama, “I Have a Dream, Movie Dream.” The 2021 film will have its world premiere in Arlington.

Weng will be among those at the annual awards ceremony following the screening of the films. Industry professionals rub shoulders with talented young local and international filmmakers, including in Canada, India, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia and the United States. AIFF judges reviewed the student entries, evaluating the categories that make up filmmaking – screenplay, editing, sound, camera, and directing.

Here are this year’s student films:

“I have a dream, a dream of cinema” by ShiJie Weng | 8 minutes | Documentary | Spain | 2021 | World premiere | The best of the festival
Sponsored by MATV/UMA, Malden

We all have a dream but not always the possibility of realizing it. Even so, we must have the courage and the maturity to try to achieve it.

“The New Everyday Life” by Isak Laestadius, André Palm, Jakob Larsson | 6 minutes | Documentary | Dance | 2021 | Sweden | American premiere

Young girls dance in a former sanatorium to express their emotions in times of a pandemic.

“The Hill We Climb” by students in wide angle | 2 minutes | Story | Wide Angle Youth Media, Baltimore | First in New England

Students in Wide Angle’s virtual event planning class created a collaborative art piece around Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” which represented everything the students believed in. Students created and narrated the play using a combination of student films and stock footage.

“The Internet” by XXXX | 10 minutes | Experimental | 2021 | Florida Film Institute | First mass | Best Experimental

A man invents the Internet with the help of an otherworldly force. But he soon learns that all is not what it seems.


“Cocoa” by Alba Carrera | 4 minutes | Entertainment | 2022 | Spain | American premiere | Best Animation | American premiere | Sponsored by Lesley Ellis School, Arlington

What if Caco the raccoon wanted to steal the biggest diamond in the world? This stop-motion animation short film was made by students of the Audiovisual Media License of the Techno Campus.

“Inner workings” by Cara Davidson | 10 minutes | Documentary | The Rep Project | Canada, United States | Best Cinematography, Honorable Mention Editing | First in New England

In this short film, Davidson talks about his experience with depression and body dysmorphia. She explores how mental health issues manifest for other Gen Zers, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.


“Stuffed” by Brendan Patrick Egan | 9 minutes | Best Horror/Comedy | 2021 | First Mass | Sponsored by Hunt’s Photo and Video

A teenager is hired to keep a strangely quiet child.

“Light box” by Hamadi Sallami | 4 minutes | Horror | Tunisia | 2022 | American premiere

In a setting of horror and mystery, the heroine falls asleep; when strange sounds occur, she wakes up to find that a ghost is trying to chase her away. Awards: Best director, Ciné Bardo Festival, Tunisia, 2022

“The bridge” by Shreya Mehta and Calvin Clizer | 7 minutes | Documentary | The Rep Project | Canada, United States | Premiere in New England | Best history

In a town in eastern Washington, there is a long history of segregation. Over the decades, the Tri-Cities have existed as an agricultural region, a plutonium-producing region during World War II, and a “sunset city” dubbed the “Birmingham of Washington” by the NAACP. While racial segregation is no longer overt, today it silently separates the odd amalgamation of doctorates. scientists, migrant farm workers and white nationalists in the region. As she explores her city’s history, a woman gains a deeper understanding of identity by piecing together the messy history before her.


“The Barn and the Birdhouse” by Casey Lockledge, Jack Malin, Murray Susen | 5 minutes | Drama | 2021 | Bright House Studio | United States | First Mass | Best Story | Sponsored by KUMON, Arlington

Film –

A birdhouse leads to an unexpected romantic encounter. Awards: 2021 Jury Prize at the Adrenaline Film Project, Charlottesville, Va.

“Shelving” by Max Mitchell | 6 minutes | Documentary | Steelton Film Academy, Pennsylvania, USA | 2021 | First in New England

A light documentary about the challenges two young filmmakers faced while making a film in just 48 hours.

Honorable Mentions

“Respectful Vampires of the Greater Boston Area” by Ari Klawans | 10 minutes | Documentary | Natick | 2022 | Boston premiere | Honorable Mention Screenplay | Sponsored by the Russian School of Mathematics


“Astoria” by XXX | 8 minutes | 2021 | Florida Film Institute, USA | First in New England | Originality | Sponsored by Arlington Community Media, Inc (ACMi), Arlington

A little fairy is trapped in a glass jar by a human girl – and in an unexpected turn of events, she ends up falling victim to unrequited love.

Arianna Stoughton poster, 2022“Letter to the Ocean” by Paige Bettencourt | 2 minutes | Documentary | 2022 | Fairhaven High School | First in New England

A girl struggling with anxiety discovers a letter in a bottle about how no one is alone in how they feel.

“Voices in Our Heads” by Brendan Egan | 4 minutes 12 seconds | Story/Comedy | 2021 | Boston

A couple go on a blind date, only to be haunted by the verbal embodiment of their fears and anxieties.

“Distractions” by Maya Jai ​​Pinson | 7 minutes | Documentary | Maryland | First in New England | Best director and technical skills | Sponsored by YourArlington |

Driving to a party, Tay Lee is focused on everything but the road.

“The hole” by Piotr Kaźmierczak | 3 minutes | Entertainment | Poland | 2021 | American premiere | Honorable Mention Sound

A short story about the fight against lack, emptiness, loneliness.

“The Medallion” by Alexander Coleman | 2 minutes | Entertainment | 2021 | Vancouver, Canada | First in New England

An animated short film about a mischievous magpie who lives in the forest. One day, she steals something shiny from a cat, but later feels sorry when she realizes how important the item is.

“Mounna” by Adith Krishna Chempath, Rayees Jaffer, Abhijith Sasidharan | 8 minutes | Story | 2020 | India | American premiere

Munna is a short film about feminism and transgender issues.

Arlington manager hosts Nov. 5 event

LJ ShenFilermanLJ Shen Filerman

Arlington’s LJ ShenFilerman — director, writer and actor — is the emcee of the festival’s 12th annual “Voices of Our Youth” student filmmaker program.

The student films will be screened at the Capitol Theater at noon on Saturday, November 5, followed by the awards ceremony.

125 student films from Boston to Sweden were submitted for consideration by the festival. The selection committee reviewed and organized the program.

A student at the Cambridge School of Weston, LJ balances school, friends and extracurricular activities. But most 17-year-olds don’t have fledgling careers in film writing, casting, directing and producing.

Forced to tell stories from a young age, LJ has been making movies for as long as he can remember. As an artist, he is always curious about people and the world and finds beauty in how storytelling in film is often fundamentally based on empathy and human experience.

“Sanctuary,” a film he made during the Covid-19 lockdown, was an official selection in the student filmmaker category of the Arlington International Film Festival, where it won the Best of Festival award. The same film was an official selection at the 2021 All American High School Film Festival in New York, where it screened in Times Square.

Most recently, LJ’s short “Precipice” premiered at the Capitol Theater. His films can be seen on or LJ ShenFilerman on YouTube. LJ was featured in YourArlington, boston globe, To imagine and Director.

This announcement was published on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, based on information from the AIFF. Your Arlington volunteer, Kim Haase, prepared it for publication.

YourArlington is a financial sponsor of “Voice of Our Youth”.

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