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Poster Contest Ends Friday, Festival Updates & Oscar Shorts at the DIA on Feb. 13th

Here's our latest newsletter!  You can also see it at this link.

Festival Info, Judging Opportunities & Feb 13 Oscar Shorts at the DIA  and more!

48th Michigan Student Film Fest Reminders, Judging Opportunities &
February 13 Oscar-Shorts at the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre!

Friday's Orchard Lake Film Festival Reminders.  Look for our DAFT table!

  • 3 pm TODAY, February 2nd, is the deadline to bring your class to West Bloomfield High School to be a part of the day's screenings and workshops--even if you don't have entries.  Click here for more info.
  • 7:30 PM Friday, February 5th, the public is invited to view the films for only $5.  More info here.
Deadline this Friday, Feb 5th for a $200 Gift Card for the 2016 Festival Poster and Program Design
This Friday is the deadline for students to submit a design for our 2016 Michigan Student Film Festival program and poster.  First prize is a $200 gift card with two runner-up $50 gift cards.  Click here for more info!
DAFT and the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre
We are proud to continue our great relationship with the DIA's historic Detroit Film Theatre.  In addition to the April 23rd Michigan Student Film Festival, DAFT has also been invited to participate in the following great events.  Look for our blue DAFT table in the lobby!
  • 2pm Saturday February 13:  Oscar Shorts (for tickets and info) - DAFT Post-Screening Discussion (20 minutes in theatre chat with DAFT following Oscar Shorts Matinee)
  • Thursday March 3:  Bring your kid to the DFT:  A child-friendly edited version of Oscar Shorts (more information to follow)
  • 4pm Saturday March 26: Animation Club:  Welcome to the Space Show (animation)
  • 4pm Saturday April 9:  Animation Club:  Song of the Sea
  • 4pm Saturday April 30:  Animation Club:  Nocturna
Join DAFT and Help Sponsor a Student Filmmaker!

Michigan Student Film Festival
Dates & Information

Important Festival Dates
  • Poster/Program Cover Contest (details below)
    • Friday, February 5, 2016
  • Festival entry deadline
    • Friday, March 4, 2016 
  • 48th Michigan Student Film Festival at the Detroit Film Theatre
    • Saturday, April 23, 2016
Mark your calendars for Saturday April 23rd at the DIA's fabulous Detroit Film Theatre for a free screening of the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival's Best-of-Show selections.  The morning screening features K-8 winners and the afternoon session honors the high school recipients.

DAFT is proud to host the oldest and longest-running student film festival in the nation.  Over 450 entries annually are individually reviewed by media teachers and professionals--with feedback returned to each student.  Many of our past winners are now enjoying amazing careers in film and television, including Monster's Universitydirector Dan Scanlon, Twenty Feet from Stardom editor Doug Blush and Academy Award winner Doug Chiang--and they credit their start to DAFT and this festival.

Prizes include scholarships, gift cards, equipment and 6 free trips in May to the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in Kalamazoo for an intense collaboration with some of the state's top media students.  Here's a video of last year's attendees, featuring some winners at the 47th festival with interviews and clips of their projects.

More information on specific prizes will follow.  If you know of any great sponsors/donors to supplement the festival, let us know at  All festival information is updated regularly on our website at this link.

Judging Opportunities for DAFT and MIPA!

MIPA Judging Saturday March 5th in Lansing:  Even if you're not a journalism or video pro, you'll be paired with an experienced judge. Judging Day is a great opportunity to see some of the amazing journalism that students across Michigan are producing for their newspapers, yearbooks, broadcast programs and news websites. You’ll leave inspired and with great ideas that you can put to use in your own classroom.. Click here to register!

DAFT Judging Saturday March 19th in Southfield:  We will be hosting our major Saturday judging session in Southfield on March 19th.  If you are interested in participating in joining one of our cozy reviewing teams (with juice/bagels & lunch provided) complete a quick interest form at this link!  Educators, media professionals or just big fans of media are welcome!

Nominate DAFT's 2016 Teacher-of-the-Year!

This year DAFT will again recognize an outstanding media teacher as Teacher of the Year. This award, called the Touchstone Award, will be presented at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in May. If you know a teacher who deserves this recognition, please send DAFT an email with the reasons in support of your nominee.  Nomination should be sent to by February 11.

Previous winners include:
2015  – John Wood – Detroit Public Schools
2014 – Julie Vanderlaan
2013 – none given
2012 – Kara Clayton – Thurston High, Redford
2011 – Chris Weagel – CMN-TV
2010 – Tom Ludwig –Education for the Arts, Kalamazoo
2009 – Steve Julin – Media Power
2008 – Kevin Walsh - West Bloomfield High
2007 – Vic Spicer, DAFT
2006 – Randy Calcaterra – Boyne ISD
2005 – Kurt Doelle, Dearborn High
2004 – Maureen McCarthy, SCOOP, Detroit
2003 – Joe Elliott, Utica Henry Ford II High, Utica
2002 – Fred Attebury, retired WSU
2001 – Jamie Stewart-Laidlaw, Shrine High, Royal Oak
2000 – Elaine Shapiro, Troy High
1999 – Annette Frank, Dearborn
1998 – Donna Learmont, Lahser High, Bloomfield Hills
1997 – Dick Rockwell, Dondero High, Royal Oak
1996 – Dean Cobb, Farmington High
1995 – Margaret Culver, Harrison High, Farmington
1994 – Len Radjewski, Lakeland High, White Lake
1993 – Russ Gibb, Dearborn High
1992 – John Prusak, Wm D. Ford Tech Center, Westland

Our New Directory of Festivals, Jobs, Internships, Websites, etc.
The DAFT website now has a new Directory (link) where members can share upcoming events, job postings, internships, media businesses, venues and more.  Submissions are reviewed and approved by DAFT.

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