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Kids Go From the Farm to a Film Festival

BRANSON, Mo. -- What happens when you give video cameras to farm kids? At a 4-H film festival, the result is a day of screenings of movies from rural America.
BRANSON, Mo. -- What happens when you give video cameras to farm kids? At a 4-H film festival, the result is a day of screenings of movies from rural America.

Students like Sara Hathelwick and Seth Kjellberg, who belong to a club in Ypsilanti, N.D., will spend the week hearing from film producers on the East and West Coasts.

Hathelwick said she had already learned valuable lessons about technique.

"Where you place the people and with the lighting is the key to making a really good movie," she explained.

The Dakota duo entered the "4-H Promotional" category with a film called "We're 4-H Crazy," a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."

Kjelberg mentioned that he appreciated the technical aspects of filmmaking. Both of the students have shown livestock through their local club and appreciated the opportunity to branch out beyond agriculture.

"There's more things for people that don't have advantages on the farm," Kjelberg said, "that can actually join 4-H and do their own big thing."

The 4-H organization is rebranding itself in many ways. Though the club has offered opportunities for members that don't involve livestock or baking shows, the organization has ramped up its efforts to appeal to a greater variety of interests.

Tammie Winkler, who is an event coordinator for 4-H, said the old-fashioned image of club members shearing sheep or making pies is a misconception many people have about the youth organization.

"Now we have branched out and are doing science and technology," she said. "When they do get out into the real world [students] are more equipped to make a living, communicate with others."

To see some films from the festival, click here.

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