Now a local filmmaker, Lyons is shaping young artists at the Variety Boys and Girls Club by teaching them the basics of filmmaking.
“As kids, they can do it now, they don’t have to wait until years later,” he said. “They have a voice right now.”
In addition to teaching students how to create movies, Lyons is organizing the Astoria Film Festival. Working with Nina Fiore, Variety’s education director, Lyons is accepting short films under 25 minutes in the categories of comedy, drama, documentaries and new media/web series.
The film festival began accepting entries last week, and has already received 25 submissions from all over the world, including from local filmmakers.
“Being a professional filmmaker myself, I understand the biggest thing is having your work seen and having your vision come to life,” Lyons said.
The film festival is also accepting and screening student films, including those made by his students.
“It gives them a chance to see their work on the big screen,” he said.
The film festival will also be competitive. The organizers will narrow down the entries to the top three for each category to be shown on Saturday, June 9.
Judges will select one winner per category.
Filmmakers have until May 5 at 5 p.m. to submit their entries by clicking here.
A welcoming reception will take place on the night of June 8, followed by screenings with director commentary on June 9. The awards ceremony will take place at 8 p.m.
Lyons said he hopes this will be an annual film festival.
“From the response we’ve had, the outpouring of support, we see there’s a need for it,” he said.