Sunday, February 12, 2017

QYLC 2017 Recap

By Tanya Pinto

This month’s Quaker Youth Leadership Conference (QYLC) hosted by Brooklyn Friends School and Mary McDowell Friends School, was yet again a successful, enlightening and memorable experience.  This year’s theme was Bridging Communities. On Thursday, February 2nd thru Saturday, February 4th 2017, 140 Students and 45 Faculty from 21 Friends Schools from around the country and Ontario gathered together for 3 days of learning, service, worship and fun. The students participated in field trips around New York City, such as visits to The 9/11 Memorial and Tribute Center, The Brooklyn Historical Society, The New York City Transit Museum, The Museum of Jewish Heritage and The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts just to name a few. 

A significant part of the QYLC involves community service outreach. In a diverse city like New York, students were able to participate in an array of Community outreach efforts including programs that address the environment, like the Gowanus Canal Conservancy; gun control, like Moms Against Gun Violence; protecting the LGBT community, with a visit to the Brooklyn Pride Center; the rights of the poor, with visits to Equality for Flatbush and The Metropolitan Council on Housing, among other service programs.

It was such an honor to be present for Niyonu Spann who was this year’s Keynote speaker. Ms. Spann is a compelling and sought-after speaker at conferences and commencement ceremonies. She has a gift for engaging her audience and started us off with teaching us a song about seeing through illusions. What an icebreaker! Connecting with the conference theme, she made us think about how we can help bridge that gap. Please click the link to learn more about Niyonu Spann and her many accomplishments. 

Later that evening Andy Cohen, Director and Founder of the Bridge Film Festival presented to two short films from former Bridge Film festival winners who have gone on to become professional filmmakers, recognized by the Industry. Garrett Bradley, who entered the BFF in 2001 and won the Judges Choice Award for her film, “Be-Bop Fidelity.” Also, recent Emmy Award winner and former BFS alum, Matthew Gentile, who entered the BFF in 2008 with his film, “Twenty-Four-Hundred.” The QYLC were treated to “Field of Vision - Like” and “Heart of Sword” respectively and both short films were well received by all in attendance.

For more information about the QYLC2017 watch this BFS ENEWS Podcast (enhanced)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Quaker Youth Leadership Conference 2017

For the fourth year in a row the Bridge Film Festival will be presenting films at the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference in Brooklyn New York on Friday, February 3rd at 7:30PM. 

This year the conference is hosted by Brooklyn Friends School and Mary McDowell Friends School. The theme of the conference this year will be Bridging Communities. How appropriate!  A selection of films, reflective of the conference theme will be chosen from the Bridge Film Festival YouTube Channel and screened at the event.

Since 1999 the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference has invited six upper school students and two faculty members from Friends Schools worldwide to a three-day gathering of learning, service, worship and fun. Although the name of the conference is a bit of a misnomer because the vast majority of attendees are not of the Quaker faith, I consider the QYLC to be the preeminent gathering in Friends education.

Each school selects their students in their own unique way. While the students may come from very diverse places, at the conference there is an notable atmosphere of respect and celebration of the individual as well as of our shared values
. If your upper school has not attended this extraordinary event in the past, there is never a better time than now to sign up and join this celebration of community! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Judges' Choice Awards "Live" from Friends Center in Philadelphia

This year it was our pleasure and honor to present the Judges' Choice Awards as part of the Friends Council on Education's annual luncheon.  Below is a video playlist from the event.

Thank you FCE for your continued support and to all the filmmakers, advisors, judges and schools for their participation.  Remember to "Let your film speak!"

Images courtesy of Betsy Torg

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Judges' Choice Awards 2016 Announced!

The Bridge Film Festival is happy to announce this year's Judges Choice Awards and Spirit of the Festival winners!


Documentary Award - Grandma George School - Newtown, PA

Narrative Award - Separation  - George School - Newtown, PA

New Media Award - Grassroot Feminists - Delaware Valley Friends School -  Paoli, PA

Public Service Announcement Award - #Little Thins -  Newtown School Waterford - Waterford, Ireland

Spirit of the Festival - Pocket Knife - Frankford Friends School Philadelphia, PA

Images by Besty Torg