Festival Details & FAQ

Reel Expressions 2017 – Submit Your Film!

THANK YOU for making the 2016 Reel Expressions International Youth Film Festival a huge success!
We will be accepting submissions for 2017 until June 30, 2017.

A few short rules:

1. Films must be under 10 minutes in length
2. Filmmakers must be under the age of 21 at the time of production
3. Films may be of various genres, however, content must be appropriate for teen audiences

Enter your film here through FilmFreeway.com!


Grand Prize: $500, a personalized trophy, special recognition, and four free tickets to the fest!

First Runner Up: A personalized trophy, special recognition, and a free ticket to the fest!

Second Runner Up: A personalized trophy, special recognition, and a free ticket to the fest!

The creators of accepted films may be asked to speak on a Q&A panel at our annual showcase!

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What is Reel Expressions?

This annual festival features a juried selection of youth-produced short films created by teens from our community and from around the world, providing a coveted opportunity for ambitious young artists to showcase their work in front of hundreds of film enthusiasts.


How do I get to the Bardavon?

The Bardavon is located at:
35 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601

You can find detailed driving and public transportation information at the Bardavon website.

Is parking available?

Yes, there is secure and convenient parking available in local municipal lots, as well as ample street parking; meters are off after 6 pm. You may have to pay for parking in the other nearby municipal lots. You can download or view the parking map HERE.

When attending events at the Bardavon, please avoid parking in private lots on Cannon Street and Market Streets.

Is the festival appropriate for younger children?

The films in the festival are appropriate for a wide audience, but are especially targeted at teenagers and young adults. Parents with young children should think of the screening as being comparable to a film with a “PG-13” rating, as there are a few films with content that is of a more sophisticated nature.

The pre-show reception is great for all ages, featuring interactive media stations that everyone will enjoy!

Youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult with a paid ticket.

Can I buy tickets at the door? Do you accept credit cards?

Tickets will be available at the Bardavon box office, located to the right of the main theater entrance. The box office accepts cash, credit cards (Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover), and personal checks (with ID).

Day-of tickets are $5 for youth, $10 for adults, and $5 for students and seniors (with ID), plus applicable tax and handling fees.

You can purchase tickets in advance HERE.

Are free tickets available for youth?

Yes! Youth ages 21 and under MUST register in advance in order to get free tickets. Free tickets must be reserved by Monday, October 31, 2016. You can sign up here to reserve your free ticket, or call our office at 845-485-4480.

Day-of tickets are $5 for youth, $10 for adults, and $5 for students and seniors (with ID), plus applicable tax and handling fees.

Youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult with a paid ticket.

Is the event accessible?

Yes, the venue is wheelchair accessible. There is also designated seating, as well as special equipment available for the hearing impaired. The lobby will be available during the show should those with sensitivity issues need a quiet space.

To arrange for specific accommodations, contact the Bardavon directly at (845) 473-5288.

Does my ticket give me an assigned seat?

Seating is general admission, first-come first-served. Arrive early to get up close to the action! Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Will there be an intermission?

No. The show will feature a short opening act followed by the festival showcase. There will be no intermission.

I can’t make it to the festival. Are there other ways to get involved?

There are lots of ways to stay in the loop! Follow Spark on social media, sign up for our e-newsletter, and make a donation to help us sustain our mission of providing innovative media education to our community.

How do I submit a film to next year’s festival?

Keep an eye out for submission announcements in early 2018 on Spark’s social media pages and in our e-newsletters.

You can also email info@sparkmediaproject.org for more information.


 2016 Reel Expressions
International Youth Film Festival

November 4, 2016 at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie

This project is made possible, in part, through funding from Dutchess Tourism Inc and administered by Arts Mid Hudson, in addition to the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. Thanks to the following sponsors:


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Marshall and Sterling

Sakima Brown for Congress


Visit Vortex marist

Become a sponsor here!

All other inquiries

Contact us at 845-485-4480, or info@sparkmediaproject.org