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  • Writer's pictureAllan Shedlin

The Daddying Film Festival and Forum (D3F) is Ready For A Blockbuster New Year

By Allan Shedlin

DADvocacy Consulting Group Founder and Director, Daddying Film Fest & Forum (D3F)

Inaugural Daddying Film Festival Atticus Award statuettes with Mockingbird toppers
2022's Inaugural Daddying Film Festival Atticus Award statuettes

Thanks to support this year from our hundreds of inaugural Daddying Film Festival attendees, our amazing DFF Circle of Friends, and devoted Daddying blog readers, the Daddying Film Festival has earned itself a blockbuster sequel in 2023!

The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) will provide children, youth, and fathers/father figures with another chance to celebrate involved dads. D3F’s mission is to:

  • Shine a spotlight on the importance of dads to kids, in their presence and in their absence.

  • Provide opportunities for kids and fathers alike to reflect upon and express feelings about what daddying qualities are most important to them; what kind of dad a father wants to be, and what kind of dad a kid wants and needs.

  • Provide opportunities for emotional authenticity, creativity, and originality.

  • Portray a variety of family dynamics in order to explore and encourage constructive relationships.

  • Demonstrate film- and/or video-making skills and production values.

Our relationship with our father – in its presence or its absence – is one of the most important relationships in our lives. Because kids are most directly impacted by a dad’s involvement or his absence, D3F offers them a creative outlet to freely express their feelings about their relationships with their dads or dad figures, and likewise, we provide a complementary opportunity for dads.

In 2023, our D3F program will broaden the spotlight to include dads in its Call For Entries as more men are recognizing the critical role they can play in their kids’ lives and are embracing the opportunity to do so as they move from an understudy to a co-starring parenting role.

Simply put, dads are important to children and children are important to dads. Families and communities are better off when fathers and children are positively involved in each other's lives.

It felt significant for me to be writing this week’s blog on December 14, the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. On that simply awful day, 26 people died – 20 of them were 6- and 7-year-olds. The other six were school staff. My own children grew up only a few miles from that shooting and attended a school very similar to Newtown. And having spent so much of my school career teaching and being a principal at the elementary school level, it struck very close to home for me and my family.

The connection between the Sandy Hook anniversary yesterday and today’s post are at the top of my mind because they are a reminder that life-altering tragedy can happen in an instant. And when it does, it often deprives us the opportunity to express our deepest, most profound feelings and thoughts to the precious ones we love. The D3F provides children, youth, and fathers/father figures with one such opportunity by asking them to create and submit films in response to one of the Festival's themes:

  • A letter to my father or A letter to my daughter/son

  • The most joyful/fun thing I ever did with my dad/dad figure and/or daughter/son

  • If I could make one wish come true for my dad/dad figure and/or son/daughter it would be...

We've kept this week's post short in the hope that you will explore our D3F website which we launched today. Please seriously consider this an invitation and opportunity to participate in this Festival by encouraging a student to submit a short film/video once D3F Call for Entries opens on FilmFreeway later next month, submitting one yourself if you're an involved dad/dad figure, joining our team of preliminary jurors, letting your school or after-school program know about D3F, or underwriting an award named in honor of a dad or dad figure who has had a powerful impact in your life.

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