Pens to Lens kicks off in February

Pens to Lens kicks off in February

CHAMPAIGN — The second Pens To Lens student screenwriting competition hosted by the Champaign-Urbana Film Society will kick off Feb. 1.

Students will write screenplays for the contest from then through Feb. 28, and filmmakers will produce films for an August 2014 red carpet gala.

All students in East Central Illinois are invited to participate, and all teachers are encouraged to share the opportunity with their classes.

The Pens To Lens Screenwriting Competition gives students in grades K-12 a chance to see their original screenplays transformed into short films.

Last year, the C-U Film Society received more than 120 submissions from students aged 5-18. Members of Champaign Movie Makers produced nine of them.

Members of the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization chose several other screenplays for which to create movie posters. The films and posters premiered to a standing-room-only crowd at a red-carpet gala at the Art Theater Co-op in Champaign.

This year, the Pens To Lens Committee also welcomes participation by students in the production of the shorts. The committee is sending professional filmmakers and designers to visit classrooms and after-school programs.

Additionally, the film society will put out a call to community filmmakers, actors and designers who are interested in participating in the program.

The website has submission guidelines and educational materials. Once the competition starts, the site will allow students to indicate if they would like to help on the sets and allow teachers to ask for a filmmaker to make a class visit.

For more information, check out the website or email

Topics (1):Film