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Let Your Films Speak: The Bridge Film Festival,15 Years Young


“Know your history, ask questions and follow your heart.” 

Garrett Bradley, BFS ’03, Bridge Film Festival alumna

It’s Spring Break, but it’s also time to reserve your tickets for the 15th annual Bridge Film Festival on Thursday, April 10 at BFS. The festival was established in 1999 at BFS by Andy Cohen, BFS director of media services, and it celebrates Quaker ideals in action via short films created by students in grades 5 through 12 from Friends schools and Friends meetings around the world. Judges are members of the film industry and related fields, and selecting finalists is always difficult. Festival director Andy Cohen was interviewed in 2009 on the origins of the Bridge Film Festival. In its short history, the Bridge Film Festival has become an important way for young artists to connect and collaborate while creating purposeful, values-based films which spring from their common background in Quakerism. The founder of Quakerism George Fox once famously stated “Let your life speak,” so the Bridge Film Festival encourages young filmmakers to “Let your films speak.”

Bridge Film Festival alumni continue to forge paths for themselves in film. Straight from the nice timing files, the first feature film by Bridge Film Festival alumna Garrett Bradley BFS ’03, Below Dreams, premieres at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival on April 18. Alumni of the Bridge Film Festival, from all schools and Meetings, are encouraged to submit personal reflections on their own Bridge Film Festival experiences.

Take a moment to be inspired by the entries at the Bridge Film Festival’s YouTube channel, these short films created by students at Friends schools and Friends meetings.