Greenwich Botanical Center to Host Greenwich Youth Film Festival Awards with Kabir Chopra

Last month more than 50 films were submitted to the 8th Annual Greenwich Youth Film Festival (GYFF) from high school students in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

The festival is a component of the Fairchild Challenge STEAM program at the Greenwich Botanical Center (formerly Garden Education Center of Greenwich) and is hosted in partnership with Greenwich Library, the Avon Film Center Theatre and the Greenwich Arts Council.

After the films are screened, there will be an awards reception, free to attendees, on Monday, March 25 at 6:30pm at Greenwich Library’s Cole Auditorium.

The awards reception will also feature a keynote address by actor and filmmaker, Kabir Chopra.

Based in New York, Chopra has appeared in several films and TV series including Two-Grown (BET), Madam Secretary (CBS) and Horror Time (Executive Producer James Franco), which he also co-wrote.

Kabir is also the creator and star of the series Swiped to Death which explores the messy realities of online dating. He has a BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and has trained at The PIT, The Stella Adler Studio, and The Michael Warner Studio (

Registration through the Greenwich Botanical Center website is required to attend this GYFF Awards event (

“Each non-profit organization helps to play a role in this festival’s vital growth. The Junior League of Greenwich successfully launched this project in 2011-12 transitioning it to the community in 2016,” said GYFF Co-chair and GBC Board President, Meg McAuley Kaicher.

The Fairchild Challenge was designed and initiated by GBC’s sister organization, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. Kaicher co-chairs the event with GBC Board member, Bharti Chojar.

Participants are part of an award-winning, interdisciplinary, environmental science competition.

The Fairchild Challenge has been recognized as a benchmark for exceptional STEM education and for empowering students to become the next generation of scientists, researchers, educated voters, policymakers, and environmentally-minded citizens.

The festival reaches out regionally throughout Fairfield, Westchester and adjoining counties.  Since last year, GYFF has communicated with multiple community partners to expand the breadth of GYFF touching underserved students as well as those engaged already in film making programs.

Greenwich’s Conservation Commission and Greenwich Schools PTA Council Green Schools Committee support the initiative along with faculty advisors.

“Our teachers and students can build credibility, we reach out to over 100 schools and share cutting-edge film making, media, and entertainment resources from multiple industry experts relevant to students considering further study or engagement with the broad array of jobs in the media and entertainment fields,” said Chojar.

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An industry panel of experts for teachers, parents and students is being planned at the Greenwich Botanical Center for September 2019.

Films are accepted in the following genres Social Action; Creative; Documentary; Animation; and Experimental. The following awards will be presented on March 25:

  • Social Action (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Creative (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Documentary (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Animation (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Experimental (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Best First Year Film Student Submission (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place)
  • Best of Festival
  • Best Film Poster
  • There is a $10 registration fee for film submissions and scholarships are available as needed. For more information please email the GYFF division at Greenwich Botanical Center ([email protected]). Additional June screenings of award-winning films may take place at Greenwich Arts Council on Greenwich Avenue and at Greenwich Botanical Center. More information about the Fairchild Challenge, enrollment forms, and details on all challenges to follow at