Kids are getting their chance to bring their work to the big screen thanks to the Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Film

Listen Now
2min 16sec
Courtesy Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Film
A still from a student film by Lyric Larussi.

The Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Film are joining forces to showcase the work of a group of children.

Clyfford Still grew up in the West and learned to respect the "awful bigness" around him. Denver Film, in the meantime, brings stories to the big screens at the Sie Film Center. Now they have teamed up to put out a call to filmmakers 18 and under. 

Director of Learning and Engagement at the Clyfford Still Museum, Nicole Cromartie, said “film/Still” is a reoccurring program for the Clyfford Still Museum, but this time has a special focus, “Kids on the Big Screen.” 

“This program was inspired by the Clyfford Still Museum's current exhibition called Awful Bigness, which is about the bigness of Clyfford Still paintings and size and scale and emotion and impact,” Cromartie said.

The young filmmakers were limited to showing work one minute or less. 

Keith Garcia, the artistic director of the Sie Film Center said he expected the films to be much simpler, but was pleasantly delighted at their complexity.  

“There was a lot of stuff thought out in some of these. Even the really short ones [and those that] have stop motion animation,” Garcia said. “Folks just really got behind the idea of the main message, the bigness idea and then, how to relay that out. 

“But, these kids, these artists had something to say and we were so excited to see them put it out for us.”

Courtesy Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Film
A still from a student film by Allie Andersen.
Courtesy Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Film
A still from a student film by Theo Nelson.

1st grader Allie used an iPad to make her film “Blue Whales.” She said she chose the whales ”because they're really big, and they're kinda rare to find.” She added, “They have the biggest emotions on earth.”

High schooler Lyric made her film “Awful Bigness” using her parents' digital camera and edited it herself.  As a teen indie filmmaker, this festival was a great opportunity because most film festivals are for ages 18 and up. Her uncle took her to the Clyfford Still Museum for inspiration, “which helped me a lot because he helped me realize what the judges are looking for,” Lyric said.  

“Because at first, I was going for more of a cinematic, realistic film, and now it's this whole abstract thing. I love my uncle for helping me with this project.”

Lyric hopes the excitement of this project will help other young filmmakers feel like they can do it too. 

“Other short filmmakers and young people that love to do this as a hobby and stuff to keep going, and always trust the process. so just keep going and always record. So just keep going in your journey of being a filmmaker and who knows what happens in the future.”

Though the big red carpet night at the Sie Film center is sold out this week, selected films will be available in The Making Space at the Clyfford Still Museum.