By: Charlie Peña, CBS 62/CW50 Intern

An amazing opportunity is right around the corner for Metro Detroit film enthusiasts. The Redford Theatre is hosting the inaugural Detroit Regional competition of the International Youth Silent Film Festival on March 31st and April 1st. Each film is no more than three minutes long and was written, directed and produced by high school students.

“A good silent film has to capture your attention and imagination,” said Dave Calendine, President of the Motor City Theatre Organ Society which owns and operates the Redford Theatre.  “You can’t rely on any spoken words, which is what so many movies of today rely on.”

International Youth Silent Film Festival (used with permission from the Motor City Theatre Organ Society).

The first event taking place March 31st at 8PM is a recap of last year’s winning films with award-winning theatre organist Nathan Avakian accompanying them on the Redford Theatre’s original Barton theatre organ. Then the judging begins as they start to play the 2017 regional entries from Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida and Arkansas. The industry professionals who will be judging the Detroit regional submissions include native Michigander’s Roger Rapoport,  Joel Paul Reisig, and Luke Jaden.

On April 1st the top 20 films will be played again with live organ accompaniment by Avakian and the top three prizes will be awarded. The prizes consist of $1000 to the winner, $500 to the runner up, and $250 to third place.

It is a goal of the Redford Theatre to get as many high school aged kids to the show as possible so they get a chance to experience an inside look at the filmmaking industry. If you know someone 18 or under with a school ID bring them to these events. The students that attend this competition will get a first-hand look at career opportunities in the media industry.

Doors open at 7PM each day. This event is for all ages and tickets are $10 apiece. If you are under 18 and have a school ID you can come for free!  For more information, visit

International Youth Silent Film Festival (used with permission from the Motor City Theatre Organ Society).

Charlie Peña is a Digital Media Specialist who studied at Lansing Community College. He is a CBS 62/CW50 Community Affairs intern who enjoys filming and editing video along with recording and mixing music.


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