SCARSDALE, N.Y. Matthew Seife is having a busy April. The Edgemont High School senior has an animated short film, "Zombie Dog," screening Friday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, and again at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Greenwich Youth Film Festival in Connecticut.
In addition, Seife was named a Tribeca Film Fellow and will attend a six-week program for 18 high school filmmakers. The fellowship is giving him a close-up look at the film industry during the Tribeca festival, which concludes this weekend.
"Zombie Dog" is a two-minute black-and-white animated film Seife made last summer using Flash and hand-drawn animation while he attended a program at Northwestern University called the National High School Institute.
"It was a five-week, very intense film program," he said. "I did not have much experience in animation before this program and put in hours of work to get a few seconds of usable film. It is the story of loss and finding a place to belong. I think it hits a lot of emotions in a short piece."
In addition to being chosen as one of 36 finalists out of 130 entrants for the Junior League of Greenwich's Youth Film Festival, "Zombie Dog" was one of 12 films selected for screening as part of Tribeca's "Our City My Story" program for high school students.
Seife has been immersed in the Tribeca Film Festival as part of his fellowship. "We spent the first 25 days learning about the process of creating innovative story ideas and learning how to communicate our ideas through multimedia and transmedia," he said "This part culminated in each person writing a feature film treatment and pitching it to a panel of industry professionals. My pitch was awarded a scholarship. We also got full access passes and are getting to see the ins and outs of the whole film festival. It has been very exciting."
Seife's film will be shown at the Greenwich event at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Cole Auditorium in the Greenwich Library. Tickets are free and available at www.jlgreenwich.org . Film screenings are intended for a teen to adult audience.
Judges for the competition include Ron Howard for Creative, Gretchen Carlson for Public Service Announcement, Clay Pecorin for Documentary, Blue Sky Studios for Animation and Jeff Cardoni for Music Video. Each genre winner will receive $500 in cash and feedback from the judges. The grand prize winner will receive an additional $1,500 and an all-expense paid trip (including airfare and hotel for three nights) to visit the set of the next Two Ton Films production.
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