Pete Liebengood on Upcoming Fresh Takes Youth Filmfest

Exclusive Interview with Pete Liebengood, Executive Director, Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest

Pete is the founder of Fresh Takes and serves as the non-profit’s executive director. Pete enjoyed a 30-year career in television news as sports director at KCRA-TV in Sacramento and KRON-TV in San Francisco. He also did play-by-play of a number of different sports for ESPN and NBC. After exiting the news business, Pete operated a television and video production company in San Jose. He was retired for nearly a decade before deciding to devote all his time to launching Fresh Takes.

What’s new at Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest?

We’re efforting to attract first time filmmaker Ryan Coogler (director of Fruitvale Station) to either be part of a panel or as a keynote speaker.

What key goals does the Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest aim to achieve this year?

Our primary goal is to have a great, well-attended first festival and become a San Francisco and Silicon Valley icon in 5 years.

What would you say sets Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest apart from other festivals?

Prize money and the good vibe of being in Silicon Valley.

What are some elements that can make a really strong and solid film submission for your Call for Entries and Festival? Story, visual storytelling, production value

All of the above. Storytelling is key as is interpretative cinematography. The viewer must feel the film.

If you could share some advice or pointers in relation to “Story” what would you share with filmmakers submitting to the Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest?

Make the story move. The more intricate the story, the more energy it produces.

If you could share some tips or insights in relation to networking at the Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest what would you share with filmmakers and attendees?

Filmmakers being around other filmmakers creates a bond and a vibe that we hope to achieve. That vibe leads to inspiration and new ideas. We want to create the generation of “next” Hollywood filmmakers. Our goal is to invite as many industry people as possible. We’re an hour plane ride from Hollywood.

Although not necessarily the first thing that’s important for some passionate artists, sometimes the first thing that everybody asks about call for entries is, “What are the prizes?”

$5,000 for Best in Fest. $1,000 for Mobile category winner, and we also have a People’s Choice Award online where entrants can get people to vote for their film. Each vote costs $1.00, and the filmmaker with the most votes gets to keep all the dollars he or she raised. It’s an early exercise in fundraising which every independent filmmaker must experience.

Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest

Students, Submit Your Films. Professors and Teachers,
Share with Your Students~

If you’re a filmmaker 22-years old or under, here’s a great opportunity to get your creative on and spend an inspiring weekend in the heart of Silicon Valley at the first annual Fresh Takes National Youth Filmfest, November 22-23 at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, California. Categories are feature, short, documentary, animation and experimental. “Best in Fest” carries a $5,000 prize. A mobile category, sponsored by Dailymotion, offers a $1,000 prize. A “People’s Choice” award goes to the director who solicits the most votes. Details at

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