Shortsfest 2024

Voices in Film Youth Forum

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Virtual Programming

Youth Forum Kickoff Event

Voices in Film Youth Forum at Aspen Shortsfest incorporates a wide variety of FREE youth-focused programming and events during Aspen Shortsfest. The forum is an umbrella over key educational programs: Making Movies Matter, Filmmakers to the Classroom, Young Filmmaker Labs, Students to the Festival, and Youth Jury. The week kicks off with a special in-school event at the Aspen District Theatre featuring a selection of this year’s festival films. The event is broadcast live so that students and teachers who cannot attend in person may participate remotely. 

Contact Regna Jones, Head of Education for more information:

Dedicated to independent voices in cinema, Aspen Film seeks to enlighten, enrich, educate, and entertain through film. For more than 25 years, art education and community involvement in youth development have been at the center of Aspen Film’s FilmEducates programs. Aspen Film is a 501c3 and serves over 30,000 people each year (3,500+ are students and teachers), hosts more than 100 film artists and industry guests, and partners with over 40 organizations, schools, and businesses.

For technical questions about Eventive (the streaming platform being used for both Making Movies Matter and the Youth Form Kickoff Event), please refer to the Eventive FAQ.


Student Film Program & Youth Forum Kickoff Event

Monday April 11 (1:00p – 2:25p) @ Glenwood Springs High School
LIVE Broadcast | Q&A to follow with filmmakers | Runtime (85 min)
Free in-person and online

To launch the Voices in Film Youth Forum at Aspen Shortsfest, the week kicks off with a special in-school event at the Glenwood Springs High School featuring a selection of festival films, a film made by a young Colorado filmmaker from the Youth Documentary Academy, and a documentary created during Aspen Film’s Summer Film Camp. The interactive program is hosted by students with a filmmaker Q+A. The event is broadcast live by Grassroots TV so that students and teachers who cannot attend in person may participate remotely.

Making Movies Matter

Monday 4/1 – Tuesday 4/30
Free online

Aspen Film provides films and themed shorts packages (e.g. immigration, the environment, creative storytelling) to enrich curriculum in language, visual arts, history, world geography, LGBTQ+ issues, and the social sciences. Films are available online for educators to use in their classrooms at their convenience.

Filmmakers to the Classroom

Monday 4/1 – Friday 4/5
Free with advance scheduling

Filmmakers from around the globe visit schools from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to share their films, culture, and creative process in classroom and auditorium settings. This program is by special arrangement in advance and requests are made by filling out the Shortsfest 2024 Aspen FilmEducates Educator Interest Form.

Deadline to sign up is March 22.

Students to the Festival

Monday 4/1 – Sunday 4/7 @ the Wheeler Opera House, Aspen
Free for teachers and students

Students and teachers receive free admission to public programs during the festival. Complimentary tickets for students are secured by showing a current student ID at the box office. Teachers with groups of students reserve tickets by emailing

Young Filmmaker Lab – Crafting and Shooting an Interview

Tuesday April 2, Wednesday April 3, Friday April 5
Festival Interns

Festival Film and Production Interns hone their storytelling skills in front of and behind the camera as they prepare for, execute, shoot, and edit a series of interviews with visiting filmmakers and industry guests. This year’s intern cohort comes from partner institutions, the Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media at Colorado Mountain College, and the Aurora Community College Cinematic Arts Department.

Young Filmmaker Lab: The Role of a Producer in Film

Thursday April 4 (9:30a – 11:00a) @ CMC Spring Valley Campus New Space Theater, Glenwood Springs
9:30a – 10:00a – Student Tour of the Campus
10:00a – 11:00a – Lab
By invitation

Colorado Mountain College students from the Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media, festival interns, and local high school film students participate in a Young Filmmaker Lab that focuses on the role of the Producer in filmmaking. Students will learn how a producer spearheads a project, from inception to completion, in a panel discussion that goes behind the scenes of the process with insights for anyone looking at a professional career in the film industry.

The lab is moderated by Joseph Gamble, film professor at CMC, who will be joined by Carbondale-local seasoned producer, director, and actress Miranda Bailey, CEO of Cold Iron Pictures and The Film Arcade; Alex Heller, Writer/Director/Producer of HOLIDAY HOUSE, a short film screening at the festival, and David Brown, the film’s actor, to discuss their journeys and creative lives in film.

Young Filmmaker Lab: `{`opening shot`}` — what it is and why it matters

Student Work for Filmmaker Feedback
Saturday April 6 (9:30a – 11a) @ the Isis Theatre, Aspen
(Breakfast 9:00a – 9:30a)
By invitation

Visiting and local film students are invited to share the first :60 of their film for feedback from festival filmmakers. This workshop offers students insight into story structure and filmmaking techniques as more experienced filmmakers and festival programmers share their impressions and offer feedback on the students’ work. Films are watched together on the big screen followed by time for input and peer discussion.

Shortsfest Industry Panels + Filmmaker Workshops

@ the Aspen Film Isis Theatre, Aspen
Free for teachers and students

Wednesday 4/3 (2:30p – 3:30p) — Making Films That Get Noticed
Thursday 4/4 (2:30p – 3:30p) — Pathways + Pitfalls
Friday 4/5 (2:30p – 3:30p) — Navigating Today’s Short Film Landscape
Saturday 4/6 (12:00p – 1:00p) — A Conversation on Craft: Editing with Sabine Hoffman, ACE

Students and teachers are invited to attend panel discussion and workshops with filmmakers and industry guests during the festival. Groups of 10+ need to reserve seating in advance. More information at

FilmEducates: Gay-Straight Alliance Screening

Sunday, April 7 (2:00p – 3:30p @ the Isis Theatre, Aspen
Open to the Public | suggested donation $20 for Aspen FilmEducates

To close this year’s Voices in Film Youth Forum, Aspen Film and AspenOut are partnering for an afternoon of thoughtful, touching, and provocative LGBTQ+ films from this year’s festival to raise awareness for the gay-straight alliance chapters in our local high schools.

There are four GSA chapters in the valley, Aspen High School, Basalt High School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and Glenwood High School. A gay–straight alliance is intended to provide a safe and supportive environment for all LGBTQ+ individuals, children, teenagers, and youth as well as their cisgender heterosexual allies.

Special Guests: Harris Doran (filmmaker), Hao Zhou (filmmaker), Bryan Alvarez-Terrazas (emcee)

Shortsfest Youth Jury

Monday 4/1- Sunday 4/7
By invitation

The Aspen Shortsfest Youth Jury is a group of local students who share a passion for film and are interested in learning how to analyze short films, think critically, and discuss a selection of films that are in competition at Shortsfest. The Youth Jury presents the Youth Jury Award, a $1,250 prize, to a winning film along with a statement highlighting the merits of the film and the jury’s decision-making process. This is a coveted award from filmmakers who value the impressions, thoughts, and engagement from today’s youth.

Special Thanks to the Aspen Film Ellen Fund

For more information about programs or how to get involved, please contact Regna Jones, Head of Education Development and Programs

Working to Enlighten, Enrich, Educate, and Entertain Through Film