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AETN Arts Fridays to feature Arkansas student films, 'Great Performances: The Little Mermaid From the San Francisco Ballet'

“Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase 2011” will air on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) Friday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

Now in its sixth year, “Student Selects” is an annual event that grants the state’s kindergarten through 12th grade students the opportunity to submit their film and video handiwork for possible broadcast on AETN, streaming on www.aetn.org and screening at the Little Rock Film Festival.

Friday’s featured films are those produced as part of Project VoiceScape, an undertaking to help youth have the opportunity to learn valuable filmmaking skills and learn to think critically about their environment, political climate and themselves.

Through a grant from PBS and Adobe Youth Voices, AETN helped students learn useful skills, from pre-production planning through post-production, to bring to fruition projects that will have lasting value in their futures.

Films include:

“Quality of Opportunity” by the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Youth Leadership Academy. Students examine the evolution of the Little Rock Central High School neighborhood, a place immortalized as a key location in the civil rights movement, tainted by violence and disrepair, but now in the midst of a revival. The film focuses on some of the individuals that are making a difference to change the perception of the historic area from “hood to neighborhood.”

“Life at Hamilton” by the William L. Hamilton Learning Academy, Little Rock. A group of students take an unflinching look at their daily learning environment at an inner-city alternative school. This film chronicles the students’ own metamorphosis of attitudes as they discover through interviews with staff and students the many positive efforts at work all around the school.

“Dreaming for Justice” by the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Youth Leadership Academy. A Hispanic immigrant student looks at the monumental challenge facing others in a situation much like his own. Without the needed legislation, many undocumented students seeking higher education are left without needed financial assistance or legal work, or worse – facing potential deportation.

“Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase” is currently accepting entries for 2012. Four $2,500 scholarships, funded by the THEA Foundation, will be awarded to graduating seniors in the following categories: screenwriting, directing, cinematography and editing. Scholarships will be awarded to the student’s institution of choice, regardless of planned major. Entry categories include, but are not limited to, documentary, narrative, animation and music videos. Complete submission guidelines are available at www.aetn.org/studentselects. Entries are due Friday, April 6.

Also airing Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from San Francisco “Great Performances: The Little Mermaid From the San Francisco Ballet.” Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting tale of love comes to life in this inventive ballet. Hamburg Ballet’s chief choreographer John Neumeier blends dance, dramatic storytelling and spectacle in a darkly emotional interpretation of the classic fable. Performed by the world-class San Francisco Ballet, the production features an original score by acclaimed young composer Lera Auerbach, with prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan in the title role. Kristi Yamaguchi hosts. 

AETN Arts Fridays delivers world-class arts and culture programming to viewers. The locally produced arts and culture series “AETN Presents,” featuring Arkansas authors and bands, airs at 6:30 p.m., and the unprecedented PBS Arts Fall Festival airs at 9 p.m. More information about AETN Arts Fridays and the PBS Arts Fall Festival, including previews, is available at www.aetn.org/aetnartsfridays.

AETN.org > Engage > Pressroom > AETN Arts Fridays to feature Arkansas student films, 'Great Performances: The Little Mermaid From the San Francisco Ballet'