The Westport Youth Film Festival (WYFF) will present a “Meet the Filmmaker” fundraising event featuring the 1968 animated film “The Yellow Submarine,” which has music by The Beatles. The event will take place on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center, and will include a viewing of the film, performances by local teen bands, refreshments, and a discussion with the movie’s producer, Al Brodax of Weston. Sumner Jules Glimcher, emeritus professor of New York University, will moderate the conversation for the evening.
Though the night is sure to be one filled with Beatle-mania, the main purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for the Westport Youth Film Festival. WYFF was created over nine years ago by Weston High School students, and is a program of the Westport Arts Center. The mission of WYFF is to provide high-school filmmakers with an opportunity to showcase their work and to inspire passion, creativity, and hard work in local teens. High school students from across the state run every aspect of the festival, from publicity and outreach to alumni relations and photography. Though the actual festival is not until June 2, the core group of students that make up the Board of Directors is hard at work collecting film submissions, finding vendors, and increasing the number of festival-goers. This year the festival will be held at The Bijou Theatre in the up-and-coming area of downtown Bridgeport. This partnership is already creating buzz—both The Bijou as well as local eateries and other retailers are excited to bring this new asset to the community.
“The Yellow Submarine” follows The Beatles as they agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies. The film won awards from the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle. Among the songs in the movie are “All You Need Is Love,” “All Together Now,” and, of course, the title tune.
The idea for “The Yellow Submarine” came to Brodax when he was the head of the motion picture/television department of King Features Syndicate. He brought this idea of a full-length animated film based on the famous song, “Yellow Submarine,” to The Beatles, who agreed to provide the music for the film. After “The Yellow Submarine,” Brodax went on to produce, write, and direct many Emmy-winning television shows, including ABC’s “Make a Wish” and “Animals, Animals, Animals,” starring Hal Linden. In the 1980s, Brodax also served as a consultant to a wide array firms including Marvel Comics, Computer Graphics Laboratories, and the New York Institute of Technology. More recently, in 2004, Brodax released a book entitled “Up Periscope Yellow: The Making of the Yellow Submarine.” He is currently writing an adventure/comedy novel called “Jokka” and he plans to produce a live action movie in the U.K. called “Fish Story.”
Sumner Jules Glimcher, moderator for the evening, moved to Westport over 50 years ago and has long been involved in town activities. Glimcher spent one-third of his career in academics and the rest as a producer of documentary films and as a consultant. His films have received more than three-dozen major national and international awards. He has also written many textbooks on filmmaking, including “Movie Making: A Guide to Film Production,” which was a best seller and became required reading at many leading universities.
All are welcome at “The Yellow Submarine” event. Students are asked to make a donation in advance or at the door of $10, while the admission price for adults is a donation of $15. Higher donations are always appreciated as well. While ticket sales from the film festival in June will cover some costs of running this non-profit organization, WYFF relies heavily on the support from the community to make festival passes affordable to students, provide workshops at the festival, and to make submitting a film more affordable for young filmmakers.