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SIFF'S Crash Kids offers a crash course in filmmaking

Junior filmmaker Aidan O’Connor of Seattle calls the shots at Crash Kids.


Moviemaking isn’t just for the Spielbergs and Ron Howards of the world. Budding filmmakers can test their cinematic skills at the hands-on film production crash course suitably named Crash Kids.

Taking place at the SIFF Film Center and geared toward youths ages 9 to 12, Crash Kids is a daylong, noncompetitive movie production challenge where kids work with a professional media educator and provided film equipment to create a short film (kids can bring their own props). Crash Kids wraps with a World Premiere, where the junior filmmakers, family and friends view their masterpieces on the big screen.  

The workshop combines creative freedom with basic film foundations. Each team of five is challenged to choose a genre, include a type of action, a line of dialogue and a character type to portray in their three-minute film.  

Photo: Joshua Huston

SIFF Film Center at Seattle Center hosts the Crash Kids.

Once they collect their equipment, kids collaborate with their team and meet their mentor. Crash Kids have free rein around Seattle Center to shoot footage and access to computer labs to edit. Wrap time is 5 pm, followed by the World Premiere at the SIFF Film Center Theater. Parents may download their child’s Crash Kids film from SIFF starting the Monday morning after the event.

Past crowd-pleasers included a delightfully witty short film depicting the utter paralysis accompanying a dead smartphone. Another team celebrated Halloween with a spooky short starring a vampire. Filmed in a grainy black and white, the silent short was reminiscent of cult classics. 

Where: SIFF Film Center on the Seattle Center campus
Date: Saturday, June 25, and Saturday, August 13 (dates are added throughout the year)
Time: Morning meeting 9:30 am, film until 5 pm, World Premiere 5:30 pm
Cost: $50/$40 for SIFF members; $5 for final screening-only tickets

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