DAFT http://daftonline.org Digital Arts, Film & Television Sun, 01 Oct 2017 16:52:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 DAFT’s 50th! Important Dates & Events http://daftonline.org/2017/10/dafts-50th-important-dates-events/ http://daftonline.org/2017/10/dafts-50th-important-dates-events/#respond Sun, 01 Oct 2017 16:52:37 +0000 http://daftonline.org/?p=11406

Big Events & Dates for DAFT's Golden Anniversary! Important DAFT News & Dates - Celebrating 50 years

DAFT's Golden Anniversary!  Exciting news for the year ahead!
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Welcome to DAFT’s 50th year!  This April will mark the golden anniversary of the nation’s longest running student film festival.  We can’t thank you enough for your support over these years and are anxious to share some exciting new opportunities for students and educators.
Questions?  Contact us at info@daftonline.org 

Once again, we’re providing a chance for your school to do some one-stop-shopping and save big!  

  • DAFT membership for your school for one year ($150 value)

  • 5 vouchers for student entries for the Michigan Student Film Festival ($60 value)

  • 2 adult admissions to the Media Teacher Symposium ($150 value)

  • 5 student admissions the Media Student Symposium ($100 value)

  • Special tickets for up to 10 students to special screenings of DAFT's Meet the Pro Filmmaker Series (see below)

Click here for more information, including the downloadable registration form/flyer.

On Friday December 1st, educators and media pros will meet at MPI in Troy for the fifth Media Teacher Symposium. The following Friday, December 8th, students are invited to network with one another, share their projects and learn from the pros at the Media Student Symposium.  

Presenters Needed!  
Media teachers, media pros and students are invited to pitch their own ideas for workshops at either symposium via this link. We welcome and encourage awesome students to share their expertise with us veterans--like last year’s great drone training session!  

Check out these pictures from the 2016 Media Student Symposium.

Mark your calendars for February 23rd, the deadline for submissions for the Michigan Student Film Festival. Once again, we are offering prizes of gear, gift cards as well as $500 cash prizes for the Maple Theatre’s Best Narrative Award and the John Prusak Visionary Award for Best Documentary. See our home page for links to the key award winners!

DAFT will be providing the chance for high school seniors to apply this fall for scholarships beginning the following year at Lawrence Tech, Motion Picture Institute, Specs Howard School of Media Arts and University of Detroit Mercy.  (Previously, they were awarded to festival entrants only--now any DAFT student may apply with their sample videos.) More info on the application process soon on our website!

New this year! DAFT and its partners are offering morning screenings with local filmmakers. Schools that are DAFT Institutional Level members will receive first offers and 10 complimentary tickets. Our first slated screening will be the powerful documentary “Summer ‘67” with Emmy-winning filmmaker Bruce Harper on November 15th at the Detroit Historical Museum.  

Other screenings are in the works and will be announced as we move forward--including April (and possibly October) U of D Mercy’s Prof. Jason Roche’s inspirational “Stealing Home” about the caretakers of the hallowed Tiger Stadium grounds, winner of the 2014 Freep Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award--featured in this episode of Digging Detroit.

One of the offshoots of this project is to not only provide students access to filmmakers but to also allow them to network with one another with possible partnerships with local causes and organizations!

Start thinking about July 2018 and participating in DAFT’s long-running weeklong intensive film camp, Focal Point.  Questions, reach out to Royal Oak High School’s award-winning media instructor Mike Conrad at:  conradm@royaloakschools.org

Important DAFT Dates - Thanks to MPI who will be sending out our new poster with the info below!

  • December 1, 2017:  Media Teacher Symposium at MPI

  • December 8, 2017:  Media Student Symposium at MPI

  • January 26, 2018:   Festival Program/Poster Contest deadline

  • February 23, 2018:  Deadline for Festival Entries

  • April 28, 2018:  50th Michigan Student Film Festival at the DIA

  • May 10-12, 2018:  Michigan Youth Arts Festival at Western Michigan University

  • July 2018:  DAFT’s weeklong Focal Point video camp (open to students and adults)


Important Dates from friends at  MIPA - Michigan Interscholastic Press Association

  • October 16, 2017:   Fall Conference in Lansing

  • February 16, 2017:  Contest Deadline

  • March 3, 2018:   Judging Day

  • April 23, 2018:  Spring Conference (Awards)

  • May 3, 2018:  Spring Contests Deadline (Best Newscast, Film Challenge)

Click here to join DAFT and get discounts and special offers!
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DAFT 2017 Festival Photos – Senior Scholarship & Best of Show Recipients http://daftonline.org/2017/05/daft-2017-festival-photos-senior-scholarship-best-of-show-recipients/ http://daftonline.org/2017/05/daft-2017-festival-photos-senior-scholarship-best-of-show-recipients/#respond Sun, 14 May 2017 13:15:33 +0000 http://daftonline.org/?p=11335

Thanks to DAFT's friend,  Michael Kuentz of Visual Ronin Media, for these great photos!

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DAFT 2017 Festival Photos – Elementary/Junior Best of Show Recipients http://daftonline.org/2017/05/daft-2017-festival-photos-elementaryjunior-best-of-show-recipients/ http://daftonline.org/2017/05/daft-2017-festival-photos-elementaryjunior-best-of-show-recipients/#respond Sun, 14 May 2017 13:04:21 +0000 http://daftonline.org/?p=11297

Thanks to DAFT's friend,  Michael Kuentz of Visual Ronin Media, for these great photos!

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DAFT Festival Reminders – March 4th Entry Deadline & More http://daftonline.org/2017/02/daft-festival-reminders-march-4th-entry-deadline-more/ http://daftonline.org/2017/02/daft-festival-reminders-march-4th-entry-deadline-more/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:44:44 +0000 http://daftonline.org/?p=11013 Important reminders for DAFT's Michigan Student Film Festival
The following was also sent in an email to DAFT teachers of previous festivals.
We are quickly approaching the March 4th entry deadline .  The festival will once again be at the DIA's fabulous Detroit Film Theatre, Saturday April 29th.  Visit us at www.DAFTonline.org for all the latest.
Please forward this email to other teachers in your district, particularly in the K-8 range--we'd really like to encourage more entries from that age group!
  • Paid DAFT membership required for entries:  Entries must be submitted via a logged-in paid DAFT membership ($35 student, $50 adult or $150 school/institutional level)  Single-level membership includes a voucher for one festival entry.  Institutional-level receives three vouchers.  Click here to become a member.
  • Copyright reminder:  For consideration for Best of Show level prizes, entries with images/music that contains copyright material must also include documented permission granted from its owners.  Here's a great link to royalty-free music.
  • New Entry Process:  We've streamlined the entry-process so you don't have to type in so much data AND you can just add each entry to your cart and pay via PayPal or check.  Just click on the "Shop" button on our home-page to start the process.  Payment must be received by March 11th for entries to be considered.
Prizes & Scholarships
  • Full scholarships to MPI and Specs Howard (one year)
  • Partial scholarship to University of Detroit Mercy ($2,500 annual for four years)
  • Canon DSLR Package Drawing for all DAFT institutional level schools ($150 annual which includes 3 festival entry vouchers and single admissions to December media symposia for teachers and students.
  • All entries eligible for video gear drawn at the festival
  • $250 ProCam gift cards for category prizes including PSA, music video, news, sports, animation
  • $500 cash prizes for best narrative film (short excerpt)
  • $500 cash prize for best documentary (short or excerpt)
March Judging Opportunities - for DAFT and MIPA
  • March 4th MIPA Judging:  Roger Smith of Lake Orion HS asked us to pass along this link to assist judging for the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association on March 4th in East Lansing--9 AM-2-ish.   It's a great opportunity to network and meet your colleagues from all over the state!
  • March 11th DAFT First-Round Judging:  First-round judging will occur in Southfield and the Holland-area on Saturday March 11th from 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM.  If you are interested in attending or have a former student or media professional friend who would like to join us in one of our judging rooms, please complete this form:
Documents to share with students
Questions?  Contact info@daftonline.org
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49th Michigan Student Film Fest News & Prizes – New Deadline, March 3rd http://daftonline.org/2017/01/49th-michigan-student-film-fest-news-prizes-new-deadline-march-3rd/ http://daftonline.org/2017/01/49th-michigan-student-film-fest-news-prizes-new-deadline-march-3rd/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:54:12 +0000 http://daftonline.org/?p=10955 Happy New Year from DAFT!

Here are some important notes that will be going out in our Newsletter January 17th.  Please share this information with your contacts in the K-8 community; we'd really like to boost the entries.
  • Due Date moved to March 3rd:  Thanks for your patience as we streamline the registration process.  We should have the entry/payment up and running soon.  For those schools who have purchased institutional level memberships, we'll be getting you your voucher-codes soon
  • Membership Required for Entering Festival: All entries must be received via a paid DAFT member account (student, adult or institutional level--not our free account).  All school-level registrants are eligible in the festival drawing for a Canon DSLR package.

  • No Paper, No DVDs:  This year, we will be sending back all judges feedback via online PDFs--gathered through computer-entered forms on judging day.  We also won't be accepting DVD entries anymore.


  • All Entries Eligible for Prize-Drawing for Pro Gear at Festival! 
  • Category Prizes!  We're very pleased to announce that this year's festival will once again award category-specific prizes--the winner receiving prizes!  $500 cash prizes for best narrative film and documentary, $250 ProCam gift cards for the other categories.
  • Verifying Copyright, School-Appropriate Material and Proofreading:  We are asking all entrants to check that the material contains approved music/images/video, is school appropriate and all names are carefully proofread.  Click here for our great link of royalty-free music sites.
  • Teacher of the Year Nominees by February 1st:  If you have a nominee for DAFT's media Teacher of the Year, please send your name and a paragraph or two with your rationale to areyoudaft@hotmail.com
  • Judging Day - March 11th!  if you are interested in being part of the first round of festival judging on March 11th click here!
  • Scholarship Opportunities include...
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Photos from DAFT’s 2016 Media Student Symposium at MPI – December 9, 2016 http://daftonline.org/2016/12/photos-from-dafts-2016-media-student-symposium-at-mpi-december-9-2016/ http://daftonline.org/2016/12/photos-from-dafts-2016-media-student-symposium-at-mpi-december-9-2016/#respond Sun, 11 Dec 2016 01:05:45 +0000 http://daftonline.org/?p=10894 On Friday December 9, 2016 over 125 of the top media production students from 14 different school districts met at the Motion Picture Institute in Troy for DAFT's 3rd annual Media Student Symposium.  Here are some highlights...


Keynote speaker, WXYZ's Sports' Brad Galli.



Lake Orion High School's Roger Smith with Brad Galli.



Licensed drone pilot Matthew Foss, a senior at Gibraltar High School, runs a demo and runs through the safety and legal requirements of drone operation.



L'Anse Creuse's Michael Kaufman runs an acting-for-camera session.


Animator Deb Scott with stop-motion techniques.



Ted Houser's editing session.



Director of Education at MPI (and former Columbia Picture exec) Kathryn McDermott shares tips on breaking down a shoot-schedule from a script.



Sundance filmmaker Sultan Sharieff shares directing tips.



Independent film producer Kale Davidoff in a scriptwriting brainstorming session.



Roger Smith on contest and festival tips and tricks.


Documentarian Jesse Sutherland.


How to shoot a movie scene with filmmaker Marco Aluia.


Kevin Walsh (Southfield A&T), Joe Elliott (Utica), John Prusak (DAFT), Brad Galli (WXYZ), Kathy Vander (DAFT), Annette Frank (DAFT), Roger Smith (Lake Orion) and Stephany Harbison (Romeo).


Kale Davidoff


Filmmaker Michael Kuentz on cameras and techniques.

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Photo Album – 2016 Michigan Student Film Festival! http://daftonline.org/2016/07/photo-album-2016-michigan-student-film-festival/ http://daftonline.org/2016/07/photo-album-2016-michigan-student-film-festival/#respond Sat, 16 Jul 2016 13:24:48 +0000 http://www.daftonline.org/?p=10487 Thanks for your patience, everyone!  Here's a photo album of the great day we had at the 2016 Michigan Student Film Festival!  If you need a larger file size, please send a request (with the file # please) to info@daftonline.org.

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Watch the 2016 Best of Show Selections from the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival! http://daftonline.org/2016/06/watch-the-2016-best-of-show-selection/ http://daftonline.org/2016/06/watch-the-2016-best-of-show-selection/#respond Mon, 20 Jun 2016 13:39:41 +0000 http://www.daftonline.org/?p=10291 Here are the amazing Best of Show films screened at the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival on April 23, 2016 at the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre.

Senior Reel (9-12 grade)

Junior Reel (K-8 grade)

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Snapshots from the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival http://daftonline.org/2016/05/snapshots-from-the-48th-michigan-student-film-festival/ http://daftonline.org/2016/05/snapshots-from-the-48th-michigan-student-film-festival/#respond Sun, 08 May 2016 16:22:45 +0000 http://www.daftonline.org/?p=10283 Thanks to Marco of MPI of Michigan who shared these photos with us!  More to come!

On April 23, 2016, the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival drew both record entries (over 400) and record crowds for both K-8 and 9-12 screenings of Best of Show films.


The generous DIA's Detroit Film Theatre was once again host to the fabulous event, created through the long hours of our volunteer board.


From left:  Kevin Walsh, Chris Weagel, Mike Conrad, Kathy Vander, John Prusak, Kurt Mayry, Jason Roche, Annette Frank, Art McDonald, Ted Houser, Brian Stackpoole, Dave Davies (emcee), Jennifer Leonard and Jennifer Williamson.


This year celebrated the incredible impact of John Prusak, DAFT board member of 46 years.  Griffin Olis of Troy Athens received the first


Checking in and picking up trophies.


Brandon Eeles of the Ford Career Tech Center (Wayne-Westland) autographs award-winning poster design--with DAFT president Kevin Walsh.


Best of Show alumnus Adam Cooper, film student at Chicago's Columbia College, attended the screening--with DAFT board member and MPI CFO Kurt Mayry.


Emcee Dave Davies returned for a terrific fourth year!


The Motion Picture Institute once again funded a wonderful after-glow with Buddy's Pizza for all honorees.


Record attendance for the first screening!


Special lanyards based on Brandon Eeles design created for all Best of Show senior-level recipients.


Key sponsors for this year's festival.


Kevin Walsh poses with festival t-shirts, generously donated by Buddy's Pizza.


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Free Admission! The 48th Michigan Student Film Fest at the DIA – April 23rd – 9:30 AM & 11:45 AM Screenings http://daftonline.org/2016/04/free-admission-the-48th-michigan-student-film-fest-at-the-dia-april-23rd-930-am-1145-am-screenings/ http://daftonline.org/2016/04/free-admission-the-48th-michigan-student-film-fest-at-the-dia-april-23rd-930-am-1145-am-screenings/#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:00:15 +0000 http://www.daftonline.org/?p=10203  

What:  DAFT's 48th Michigan Student Film Festival - Free Admission!

When:  Saturday, April 23rd:  9:30 AM (K-8 grade Best of Show reel), 11:45 AM (9-12 grade Best of Show reel)

Where:  The DIA's Detroit Film Theatre (John R. side), 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 (John R. side entrance)

First-Place cover art by Brandon Eeles, student at the William D. Ford Career Technical Center (Wayne-Westland)

First-Place cover art by Brandon Eeles, student, William D. Ford Career Technical Center (Wayne-Westland)

We hope you can join us the morning of Saturday April 23rd at the DIA for a free screening of the Best of Show honorees for the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival--the longest running K-12 festival of its kind in the nation, as recognized by the American Film Institute.

From across the state, DAFT received over nearly 400 student entries from Bay City to Wyandotte.  60 judges at three different sites as well as online provided valuable hand-written feedback for every entry.  Students were awarded at four levels:  Merit, Honor, Excellence along with Best of Show, selected films that will be shown at the festival.


Actor and comedian Dave Davies once again returns as emcee for the Best of Show screenings and presentation of awards.  All students who entered the festival are recognized in the program and can pick up their judging feedback on-site.


The Festival is made possible once again through a significant grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the kind generosity of host, the DIA's historic Detroit Film Theatre.  Generous DAFT supporters also include Buddy's Pizza, MGM Grand Detroit, the Motion Picture Institute, ProCam of Livonia, the Actor's Workshop Detroit, Visual Ronin Media and Mango Languages.

Two students will be awarded full scholarships to Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts and the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan and four students will receive $10,000 scholarships to the University of Detroit-Mercy.  Six students will also receive six scholarships to attend the three-day Michigan Youth Arts Festival in Kalamazoo in May.

Film Festival 2014 - Senior BOS 002

Another exciting partnership this year has been announced with the Cinetopia International Film Festival giving each Best of Show honoree a free all-access student pass for its June 3-12 calendar of screenings in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.  Cinetopia will also honor one student film to be included in its Detroit Voices screening and the April 23rd 9-12 Best of Show reel will be screened once again on Sunday, June 5th (location and exact time to be announced).

DAFT will honor Brian Stackpoole of Grosse Pointe North High School as its 2016 Michigan Film/Video Teacher of the Year, nominated online by former students and peers.  Brian will be recognized at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in May as well.

Film Festival - Crystal Gallery

Past students who have been recognized include Oscar-winner Doug Chiang and Pixar director Dan Scanlon.  DAFT (Digital Arts Film and Television) is a non-profit dedicated to media education and interaction between students, teachers and professionals.  Its longtime running summer camp, Focal Point, also has produced excellent professionals including editor Doug Blush (The Hunting Ground & Oscar-Winning Twenty Feet from Stardom).



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