Festival Info, Jan. 21st  ProCam Student Night, Orchard Lake Film Fest & Teacher of the Year Nominations

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48th Michigan Student Film Fest, ProCam Student Night on Jan 21st, 
Teacher of the Year Nominations &  Orchard Lake Film Fest on Feb 5th

Michigan Student Film Festival
Dates & Information

Important Festival Dates
  • Poster/Program Cover Contest (details below) 
    • Friday, February 5, 2016 
  • Festival entry deadline
    • Friday, March 4, 2016 
  • 48th Michigan Student Film Festival at the Detroit Film Theatre
    • Saturday, April 23, 2016 
Mark your calendars for Saturday April 23rd at the DIA's fabulous Detroit Film Theatre for a free screening of the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival's Best-of-Show selections.  The morning screening features K-8 winners and the afternoon session honors the high school recipients.

DAFT is proud to host the oldest and longest-running student film festival in the nation.  Over 450 entries annually are individually reviewed by media teachers and professionals--with feedback returned to each student.  Many of our past winners are now enjoying amazing careers in film and television, including Monster's University director Dan Scanlon, Twenty Feet from Stardom editor Doug Blush and Academy Award winner Doug Chiang--and they credit their start to DAFT and this festival.

Prizes include scholarships, gift cards, equipment and 6 free trips in May to the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in Kalamazoo for an intense collaboration with some of the state's top media students.  Here's a video of last year's attendees, featuring some winners at the 47th festival with interviews and clips of their projects.

More information on specific prizes will follow.  If you know of any great sponsors/donors to supplement the festival, let us know at  All festival information is updated regularly on our website at this link.
Win a $200 Gift Card for the 2016 Festival Poster and Program Design
DAFT is once again seeking a Michigan student artist to design the cover and program for the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival.  First prize includes a $200 gift card with two $50 gift cards for the runners-up!  Specs and more information including samples of past programs can be found at this link.  Please share with any creative students and/or art teachers to submit before our February 5th deadline.
Revised!  Copyright Clarification for Festival Entries
As published recently, we want to thank attorney Lex Kuhne for joining us at the Media Teacher Symposium on December 4th and clarifying the often foggy area of student video projects with fair-use and copyright.  We have made some revisions to our policies to reflect Mr. Kuhne's advice.   Michael Kuentz of Visual Ronin Media provided a great list of royalty-free music sites that we encourage our students and teachers to consult.  See our rules and copyright information at this link.  
If you haven't yet attended the Orchard Lake Student Film Festival, a full-day of student film-screenings, workshops and judging-feedback, DAFT encourages you to mark your calendar for February 5th at West Bloomfield High School.  It's a great place for feedback on your students' work (prior to the Michigan Student Film Festival deadline!).  Even if your students aren't submitting, it's a great opportunity for a full-day of networking and creative exchanges between Michigan teachers, students and media professionals.  More information at:
Special thanks to regular DAFT supporters George and Eric of ProCam in Livonia.  He's providing pizza, student and teacher discounts and gear demonstrations in the store's awesome studio on Thursday January 22nd.  Bring your own equipment for expert assistance and advice. 34224 Plymouth Rd. Livonia from 5:00 - 7:30 PM
Nominate DAFT's 2016 Teacher-of-the-Year!

This year DAFT will again recognize an outstanding media teacher as Teacher of the Year. This award, called the Touchstone Award, will be presented at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in May. If you know a teacher who deserves this recognition, please send DAFT an email with the reasons in support of your nominee.  Nomination should be sent to by February 11.

Previous winners include:
2015  â€“ John Wood â€“ Detroit Public Schools
2014 – Julie Vanderlaan
2013 – none given
2012 – Kara Clayton – Thurston High, Redford
2011 – Chris Weagel – CMN-TV
2010 – Tom Ludwig –Education for the Arts, Kalamazoo
2009 – Steve Julin – Media Power
2008 – Kevin Walsh - West Bloomfield High
2007 – Vic Spicer, DAFT
2006 – Randy Calcaterra – Boyne ISD
2005 – Kurt Doelle, Dearborn High
2004 – Maureen McCarthy, SCOOP, Detroit
2003 – Joe Elliott, Utica Henry Ford II High, Utica
2002 – Fred Attebury, retired WSU
2001 – Jamie Stewart-Laidlaw, Shrine High, Royal Oak
2000 – Elaine Shapiro, Troy High
1999 – Annette Frank, Dearborn
1998 – Donna Learmont, Lahser High, Bloomfield Hills
1997 – Dick Rockwell, Dondero High, Royal Oak
1996 – Dean Cobb, Farmington High
1995 – Margaret Culver, Harrison High, Farmington
1994 â€“ Len Radjewski, Lakeland High, White Lake
1993 – Russ Gibb, Dearborn High
1992 – John Prusak, Wm D. Ford Tech Center, Westland

Festival Judges Needed!

We will be hosting many judging sessions in March.  If you are interested in participating in joining one of our cozy reviewing teams (with lunch provided) complete a quick interest form at this link!  Educators, media professionals or just big fans of media are welcome!
Our New Directory of Festivals, Jobs, Internships, Websites, etc.
The DAFT website now has a new Directory (link) where members can share upcoming events, job postings, internships, media businesses, venues and more.  Submissions are reviewed and approved by DAFT.  Special thanks to DAFT board member and our fantastic webmaster, Chris Weagel, for his magic!
Copyright © 2016 Digital Arts, Film & Television, All rights reserved.

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