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Jason Rapp

Third Doko Film Fest announced

All-virtual format planned in 2021


In the second year of the Doko Film Fest, a total of 143 entrees came from across the country, as well as from Canada, India, China and the United Kingdom. This year, no matter where you are, you can join in.

“Whether you’re in Blythewood or Dhaka, Bangladesh, we’ll all be here together,” says festival creator Ray Smith. That’s because in its third year the whole event will happen virtually, streaming live over two days: March 20 and 21. There will be plenty to see and interact over. So far, submissions have been received from across the U.S., India, Canada, Oman, Iran, Poland and Mexico. The film competition for students aged 14 to 18 gives young filmmakers the chance to show their films to a live audience, attend master classes led by award-winning professional filmmakers, and have their work judged by industry professionals. It’s been held for the last two years in Blythewood, a small town north of Columbia. At the third festival, attendees will be able to view the selected films, attend virtual master classes and listen to a live panel of professional filmmakers providing feedback on each day’s films. All will all take place from 1-4:30 p.m. on March 20 and 21. New in 2021: It will all be free to attend. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-doko-virtual-film-fest-tickets-128798211919 The festival is entirely volunteer-based, so donations are requested. Any received go toward the continued mission of supporting the arts and next year’s Doko Film Fest. The climax of the event will continue to be the awards recognizing the best in each category, as judged and selected by a panel of film professionals. Those categories are:
  • short story,
  • documentary,
  • visual effects,
  • animation,
  • music video,
  • comedy,
  • and pocket video (which means a film that is made and edited completely on a smartphone).

About Doko Film Fest

Doko Film Fest gives high school-aged filmmakers from across the USA and beyond a showcase for their visual storytelling. Its mission is to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of young filmmakers and provide them an outlet for their creativity. Doko Film Fest was created by business educator and documentary filmmaker Ray Smith. To learn more about participating, attending or becoming a sponsor—and to view some of last year’s winning films and for further information—please visit https://DokoFilmFest.com.

Doko Film Fest extends deadline for high school filmmakers

Submission deadline: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019


Doko Film Fest, a competitive showcase event featuring the work of student filmmakers ages 15 to 18, extended the deadline to submit entries for its inaugural event. As we mentioned in October, the festival gives high school aged filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films to a live audience and have their work judged by industry professionals. From their website:

The Doko Film Fest is about South Carolina high school age film makers stimulating and entertaining a live audience with their visual story telling art. It's a place where the film makers interact with the audience and other film makers to explain their film, and to receive reaction and comment on their work.

The filmmakers and others attending will be able to attend master classes led by professional filmmakers. Categories include: short story, documentary, music video, comedy, animation and pocket studio (made entirely on smart phone). Films should be between five and 10 minutes in length, except for animation which should be between one and three minutes in length and music video which should be no shorter than three minutes. The deadline to submit entries is Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.

The event

Doko Film Fest takes place April 26-28, 2019 in Blythewood. There will be an opening reception, film screenings, a concert, and a closing awards ceremony. Awards will be handed out in the following categories:
  • Best Short Story
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Music Video
  • Best Comedy
  • Best Animation
  • Best Pocket Studio Production
  • Best Original Music
  • Best Male Actor
  • Best Female Actor
  • Best Director
  • Best Festival Film
Not bad, huh? The Doko Film Fest was created by Ray Smith in partnership with Bravo Blythewood, a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of arts in the area. A leader in the academic world, Ray Smith began his career in the UK in the field of health care. He then moved onto Frankfurt, Germany, developing executive education programs for Deutsche Bank. His work brought him to the U.S., where he was associate dean for executive education at Duke University, a position he later held at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina (USC). While at USC, he designed and developed the concept of the virtual global classroom, using technologies to bring learners and faculty together from anywhere in the world. Today, Ray continues his work in business education at USC and  learning strategies for business leaders through his company, Learning with Leaders, and is executive producer and co-owner of Modos Media, producing documentary films for television. Read more here.  

Tuning Up: Calling all S.C. high school filmmakers

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Doko Film Fest showcases high school filmmakers. Doko Film Fest, a competitive showcase event featuring the work of student filmmakers ages 15 to 18, announced Monday that entries are officially being accepted for its inaugural event. The festival gives high school aged filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films to a live audience and have their work judged by industry professionals. The filmmakers and others attending will be able to attend master classes led by professional filmmakers. Categories include: short story, documentary, music video, comedy, animation and pocket studio (made entirely on smart phone). Films should be between five and ten minutes in length, except for animation which should be between one and three minutes in length and music video which should be no shorter than three minutes. The deadline to submit entries is January 7, 2019.

Evergreen (for now): Time is running out!

  • Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts (right) are due Thursday, Nov. 8. All it takes to start the process of awarding an artist, arts organization, business or foundation, government entity, individual, or arts educator/institution one of these prestigious awards for significant contributions to the arts in South Carolina is one letter. Don't wait. Find out more now! (Noms for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are due at the same time. Here's info on those.)
  • Applications for $5,000 individual artist fellowships are also due Thursday, Nov. 8. Unrestricted awards will honor achievement in visual arts, craft, music composition, and music performance. Don't miss out!

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