About the Rochester Teen Film Festival

History of Rochester Teen Film Festival

The Rochester Teen Film Festival began in 2005 at East High School in Rochester, NY as the Rochester Urban Youth Film Festival. Since that time, co-founders Brian Bailey and Linda Moroney have partnered with a number of organizations to evolve into its current form as a partnership between The Little Theatre and WXXI Public Broadcasting Council.


Young filmmakers have a chance to earn the Philip Seymour Hoffman Award, which honors the life and legacy of the late Academy Award-winning actor and Fairport, N.Y. native. The annual award is given to the teen who’s film is chosen by the judges as “Best of Fest” and was established in association with the Hoffman family with funds raised during The Little’s Philip Seymour Hoffman Tribute Film Series.

Along with The Philip Seymour Hoffman Award, there are two other awards given to deserving young filmmakers. The Women’s & Gender Studies Award is presented to the winner for an outstanding film addressing gender issues. The Alex Ketchek Award for Best Animated Film is in memory of Alex Ketchek, a 2010 Rochester Teen Film Festival finalist who tragically passed away in 2013.


Brian Bailey is an educator, writer, artist, entrepreneur, business development executive, and community organizer. Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University (1992), holds a master's degree from Nazareth College in Educational Technology (2000) and received a Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Rochester's Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development He is currently an Associate Professor of Education at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY (USA) where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Adolescent Education through community engagement. He has published articles in blogs, journals and books including: the Huffington Post, the Journal of Digital Culture & Education, and Lights! Camera! Action and the Brain: The Use of Film in Education. He has presented his research Internationally in India (Nagaland University), Pakistan (University of Karachi, Jinnah University for Women, Indus Valley College), Oman (Sultan Qaboos University), Hungary (Eötvös Loránd University), Sri Lanka (Red Dot Art Gallery,  and United Arab Emirates (UAE University in Al Ain). In addition to his academic work, Bailey creates contemporary public art and social intervention projects in local and international contexts. Along with his partner and spouse, Heather Layton, a senior lecturer of Studio Art at the University of Rochester, he started Common Sense Art Collective which uses Socially Engaged Art (SEA) as a form of community engagement and international cultural diplomacy. For this work, Bailey and Layton were named Citizen Diplomats in 2012 by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Bailey’s entrepreneurial work includes business development and corporate social responsibility for two Rochester-based companies (Diamond Packaging; RevSpark) and is the co-founder of a socially conscious Indie Folk music series (Honest Folk) as well as the co-founder of two youth-based events (Rochester Teen Film Festival; ROC Teen Summit).

Linda Moroney – was a producer on the independent feature-length documentary, RAM DASS FIERCE GRACE, named by Newsweek magazine as one of the five best non-fiction films of 2002, and broadcast nationally on PBS (Independent Lens 2004). In 2016, she completed two films. TURN THE PAGE, which she produced and directed, explores the fractured relationship between incarcerated parents and children left behind, through the lens of a jail-based literacy program called, Storybook, at Ontario County Jail (co-production with Crystal Pix). She was also the co-producer of THE LAST DALAI LAMA?, (director Mickey Lemle), which garnered audience awards at the Maui Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival.  Since 2012, Ms. Moroney has been the programmer and host for One Take: Stories Through the Lens, the monthly documentary series at the Little Theatre, which as of 2017 will include a four day film festival. For five years, she served as Director of Greentopia | FILM, a non-fiction film festival, centering on all issues of sustainability. Ms. Moroney is the founder of the Rochester Documentary Filmmakers Group, co-founder of the Rochester Teen Film Festival & the Rochester Teen Film Camp, and teaches documentary film at St. John Fisher College. She was the Managing Director/Programmer for the 360 | 365 Film Festival (2010 and 2011 editions). In 2007, she was the curator for Animated Jazz Shorts from The Hubley Studio, which was a co-presentation by the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Rochester/High Falls Film Festival, and George Eastman House. She has produced several short films including Emily Hubley’s award-winning SET SET SPIKE (2001), which was an official selection in the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. She cut her filmmaking teeth working with Academy Award winner, Faith Hubley, on her last six animated films.