March 31, 2017



ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth announces its 14th annual Youth Film Competition
Deadline for submissions is May 5!


(Halifax, NS) – The Atlantic Film Festival has just announced its 14th annual ViewFinders Youth Film Competition for Atlantic Canadians ages 18 and under. Deadline for submissions is Friday, May 5 at 5 p.m.
Presented by DHX Media and produced by ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth, the competition accepts short films less than five minutes long from youth participants living in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Top entries are eligible for prizes that will be awarded at a special Red Carpet screening at the Scotiabank Theatre Halifax on Saturday, June 3. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: animation, live action and documentary. There will also be a grand prize.

“We’re very proud that many of the competition’s past participants have gone on to study the Screen Arts and have careers in the industry,” said Jason Beaudry, the Atlantic Film Festival’s Program Director. “But most importantly, each and every participant achieves something incredible. They’ve made something that an audience will experience and appreciate. And having their work seen and enjoyed in a world-class venue builds their confidence and encourages them to reach new heights in whatever they pursue.”
For over a decade, ViewFinders has been hosting competitions for young people with a passion for filmmaking. During this time, a number of participants have gone on to film schools and careers in the film industry.
"Submitting to ViewFinders was my first serious attempt at making a film,” said Saint John, New Brunswick’s Spencer Hetherington, a past ViewFinders Youth Film Competition participant. “It's been a great platform to showcase my work and also to see the work of other young Atlantic Canadian filmmakers. Most of all it's been a blast to have had my films screened in a real movie theatre.”
Hetherington was recently accepted into Concordia University's Bachelor of Film Production degree program and awarded an Arts NB scholarship. He was the 2015 ViewFinders Youth Film Competition winner for his aptly named short film, SHORT and the 2016 Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award winner for his film, THE ISLAND.
To see a selection of Hetherington’s films, including SHORT and THE ISLAND, visit:
In addition to the ViewFinders Youth Film Competition, the Atlantic Film Festival is currently accepting submissions for its FROM AWAY Film Competition. Part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, this competition provides an opportunity for post-secondary student filmmakers, including past ViewFinders participants, to continue their craft in an event designed specifically for them. The challenge will be to construct their own interpretation of the nation that surrounds them and how immigration has influenced their place within it – connecting audiences with Canada’s past and present.
To learn more about FROM AWAY, visit:
The Atlantic Film Festival will once again present the ViewFinders School Tour. This year’s tour, taking place in October of the 2017-2018 school year, offers a FREE program of matinee features, short film programs for school groups and several filmmaking workshops for students and teachers. The tour will visit Cineplex Cinemas in the Halifax Regional Municipality as well as in Saint John, Charlottetown, Yarmouth and Sydney. Although pre-registration is required, schools attending the 2017 ViewFinders events will only be responsible for the cost of transportation to and from the event.
For more details as they become available, visit: or email Morgan Salter, Youth Initiatives Coordinator at:
About ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth
Named after the optical window of a camera, ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth began as weeklong film festival for young people and their families in 2002. Since then it has grown into an Atlantic Canada-wide youth initiative that brings the Atlantic Film Festival experience to school groups and communities across the region.
Each year ViewFinders presents the best in regional, national and international films for youth, tackling issues from multiculturalism and community to sustainability and creativity. The program’s activities introduce students to the wonderful world of filmmaking through hands-on media workshops, and the ViewFinders Youth Film Competition provides a platform for young filmmakers - a proven launching pad for the next generation of talent. ViewFinders is the first step in a life full of experiencing and celebrating the art of film and filmmaking.
ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth is a part of the Atlantic Film Festival family of programs. Today’s Atlantic Film Festival is now a year-round celebration, growing beyond our eight-day cornerstone event in September to include: ViewFinders, FROM AWAY film competition, the AFF Outdoor Film Experience and Strategic Partners.
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For photos, interviews and more information, contact:

Wendy Phillips, Publicity for the Atlantic Film Festival
(902) 492-0960 /