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Young Filmmakers Walk Red Carpet In Pleasantville

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Fourth-grade students from Mount Kisco Elementary School received the red carpet treatment Tuesday evening to premiere animated films they created as part of Jacob Burns Film Center's Minds in Motion program.

During the three-month program, professional animators made on-site visits to local elementary schools to lead students through workshops on storyboarding, writing, sketching and more. Students from both the fall and spring programs premiered the culmination of those workshops in one-minute stop-motion films Tuesday.

"Jacob Burns contacted our school and wanted to work with Mount Kisco," said teacher Bill Hunter. "And they bring in the program from the outside, so they come in every week for a period of 12 weeks for two hours each week."

Hunter said Tuesday's event was a premiere in the truest sense, as what appeared on the big screen was even a mystery to some of the students. Parents-turned-paparazzi packed the center to snap pictures of their young filmmakers, who were donning suits and dresses for the event.

"Your time has finally come," Jacob Burns' Director of Education Emily Keating told the audience of students. "We know these premiere events are what every filmmaker, whether it's their first film or their 50th film, are working toward and waiting for to see their stories come alive for a live audience."

Minds in Motion was piloted in the summer of 2003 and launched as a classroom-based program in the fall of 2003. During the 2011-2012 school year, more than 800 students from elementary schools in Mount Kisco, Yonkers, White Plains, Port Chester, Hawthorne and New Rochelle participated in the program free of charge, with the cost of the program covered by local sponsors.

This summer, the program will return for six organizations including Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester of Mount Kisco, The Little School in Hawthorne, Ossining Children’s Center, Elm Street Neighborhood Center in Yonkers, PEAK Center in Mount Vernon and Theodore Young Community Center in White Plains.

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