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Fast Forward Film Festival is Coming to Rochester!

Fast Forward Film Festival is Coming to Rochester!


Have you heard about the upcoming Fast Forward Film Festival that will be happening right here in our great City of Rochester? If not, keep reading!

When we first heard about the Fast Forward Film Festival and how it is aiming to be "an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression", we knew a collaboration would only make sense! The Fast Forward Film Festival will offer a creative outlet for filmmakers - both amateur and seasoned - to create a short film to convey the urgency of current and forthcoming environmental issues.

Art coupled with education around a critical topic all taking place locally? How great! From here, we decided to be a Friend of the Festival. As a Friend of Festival, Rochester Brainery will be offering special events leading up to the first ever Fast Forward Film Festival. More information on these events are at the end of this post! But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we interviewed Project Director, Becca Delaney, on what this exciting festival is all about. Check it out:

What is the Fast Forward Film Festival?
The inaugural Fast Forward Film Festival (FFFF) embraces the short film format (5 minutes or less), to challenge local Rochesterian's to utilize the power of visual storytelling to raise environmental awareness. You don't need to have prior experience in filmmaking to create a beautiful, impactful film. Fast Forward Roc is calling artists, established or emerging filmmakers, or the environmentally-aware residents to submit videos/films of any genre. 

Fast Forward Rochester is hosting FFFF – a two-day film festival – to be held on April 17th & 18th to kickoff Earth Week 2015, at The Little and Dryden Theatres that will showcase new environmental perspectives through selected entries/finalists. 

Selected films will receive awards of $1,000 and honorable mentions will receive $250, each to be given for three categories:
- Most inspiring, compelling, and engaging
- Most unique perspective
- Strongest call to action

Jury selections will be reviewed by a nationally renowned jury:
- Enid Cardinal, RIT’s Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President
- Deborah Dickson, filmmaker and two-time Academy Award nominee
- Jack Garner, acclaimed film critic and author
- Todd McGrain, filmmaker, artist, 2014 recipient of the Audubon Award for Art Inspiring Conservation, and The Lost Bird Project co-founder

How did the Fast Forward Film Festival get started?
FFFF is an initiative of the Lost Bird Project (LBP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect more deeply with the earth through art. Andrew Stern, co-founder of LBP, founder of FFFF, and a local resident of Rochester, wanted to create a local voice and connect the community more deeply to the earth through art. FFFF is the first initiative of LBP to take place in Rochester, NY. Sponsors include: RIT, George Eastman House, The Little Theatre, WXXI, and NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.

Why was the Fast Forward Film Festival started?
By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, our hope is that FFFF films become an important communication tool to inspire change, connect people, and build an environmentally concerned community. An important goal for FFFF is to create a local community that unites together in a unified voice to raise environmental awareness.

Why Rochester?
Rochester was selected as home of the first FFFF, because of its amazing art and film community. We hope FFFF will bring attention to just that, and highlight our local community and its artists.

When are entries due and where are the details?
11:59 PM EST on February 27, 2015. No entry fee. More info at

How does this give local artists a unique opportunity to have a voice?
Because you don't need to have prior experience in filmmaking to create a beautiful, impactful film, local artists can tell their story through FFFF.  YOU can be a filmmaker and create a great short film.

What are 'Friends of the Festival'?
FFFF Friends of the Festival are a network of over 30 community organizations and partnerships throughout the greater Rochester area and Finger Lakes region that support FFFF’s mission, and who have joined together to offer support to FFFF entrants. Entrants simply contact if they wish to utilize any of the free community resources listed in creation of their short film.

What are the future plans for FFFF?
Our hope is that Fast Forward Rochester will be the first of many Fast Forward Film Festivals nationwide, and potentially global events. Fast Forward Roc & FFFF, if successful as a pilot in its first year, is a framework that was developed in the hope that other cities would pick it up and duplicate it. We are documenting and piloting a unique and innovative platform with the hope to expand to future cities, to carry on the mission on raising environmental awareness through showcasing new environmental perspectives.

Upcoming FREE Fast Forward Film Festival events at Rochester Brainery

Artist Lecture: Connecting More Deeply with the Earth Through Art
Thursday, December 4th | 6:30pm-7:30pm
Join us for an evening with artist Todd McGrain. Sculptor, filmmaker, author, creative director and co-founder of the non-profit arts organization The Lost Bird Project. He will present his work and discuss the role the arts can play in raising environmental awareness. For more information and to register, click here!

Fast Forward Film Festival Information Sessions
Thursday, January 8th, 2015 | 7:30pm-9:00pm & Saturday, January 17th, 2015 from 12:30pm-2:00pm
Keep tabs on Rochester Brainery’s events page, because on both of these dates, the Fast Forward Film Festival will be holding information sessions at Rochester Brainery to make sure that all of your questions are answered before submitting!

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