Annual Film Festival Expands To Include Youth Component

Annual Film Festival Expands To Include Youth Component

BERLIN – A new kids film festival is expected to offer families a night of fun while raising money for Assateague Coastal Trust and its programs.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) and its Coast Kids program will hold its inaugural Wild Child Youth Film Festival. Held at Burley Oak Brewing Company, the event will feature kids activities, auction items and showings of kid-friendly films.

“This Wild Child collection is specially curated for kids,” said Verena Chase, ACT’s Coast Kids director. “Many are fun and light, but some are really thoughtful and definitely face serious issues such as wildfires, plastic pollution in oceans and things of that nature.”

While ACT will host its 12th annual Wild and Scenic Film Fest in November, organizers say they are eager to add a kids component to this year’s program. The Wild Child Youth Film Festival will feature 16 short films, including “Cracked,” which documents a little girl trying her best to help nature in a drought-stricken village, and “Maneuvers,” a funny, experimental film that combines skiing with stop motion animation.

“This year, the Wild and Scenic Film Fest offered the Wild Child film festival as an addition,” Chase said. “We thought it was a great opportunity because there are some really awesome films that are perfect for kids in the Wild and Scenic Film Fest selection.”

Chase said the inaugural event will be held outside at Burley Oak Brewing Company. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the first hour dedicated to kids activities, Scales and Tales live animal exhibits, a Lucky Chance auction (with gift baskets and goodies from numerous local businesses) and a raffle. The Street Kitchen food truck will also be selling tacos.

“The films start at 6:30,” Chase added. “The films take about an hour and a half, so the festival will be done by about 8 p.m.”

Chase noted the Wild Child film festival is just one of many activities hosted through the Coast Kids program, which offers hands-on learning experiences to children and families.

She explained that Coast Kids also holds various family and in-school programs throughout the year, with activities such as kayaking, birdhouse building and lessons on bird banding, animal tracks and clean energy.

“We also offer a fabulous outdoor summer camp where we go each day to a different place across Delmarva and explore a new habitat and do fun outdoor things such as paddling, hiking, looking for plankton, and trying out paddleboarding and horseback riding,” she said.

For more information on the Wild Child Youth Film Festival, or to purchase tickets, visit Tickets are $5 per person, or $25 for a bundle of six tickets plus a free 30 oz. eco-friendly water bottle.

“Coast Kids is completely run on donations and grants,” Chase said. “So this money will supports the Coast Kids program.”

In the event of rain, the Wild Child Youth Film Festival will be moved indoors to MacMullin Hall at the ACT office building, 10959 Worcester Highway, Berlin, MD.

“We invite everyone to come out to have fun, watch a bunch of wonderful movies and support Assateague Coastal Trust and the Coast Kids Program,” Chase said.

ACT recognizes and thanks its Wild Child sponsors: Burley Oak Brewing Company, World of Toys, Mary Mac Foundation, Heart of Gold Kids and Donna Frankowski Realty.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.