Announcing the 2017 Pens to Lens Gala Lineup!

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017

Wrap-up of the 2014 Gala

Wrap-up of the 2014 Gala
Posted by on Aug 11, 2014

We are so pleased at the success of the 2nd Annual Pens to Lens Gala! Thank you to everyone who contributed to the films and posters, thank you to our hosts Joe Barlow and Charlie Hester, thank you to the Champaign Park District and the Virginia Theatre, and most of all, thank you to all of the kids who shared their wonderful stories with us.

This year’s films and posters are now online! Click here to take a look.

And just a reminder that we do have a limited number of DVDs available for purchase. They are $10 each plus $3 shipping. Click the “Buy Now” button below to purchase yours! (Teachers! If you would like a free copy for your classroom, please contact us at

2nd Annual Pens to Lens Gala

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014

The Champaign-Urbana Film Society’s Second Annual Pens to Lens Gala will be held on Aug. 9, 2014 at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign. A red carpet event beginning at 1pm will lead into two blocks of film screenings. Films produced from scripts written by K-7th grade students will premiere at 2pm and films made from scripts by older students will begin at 6pm. A filmmaker talkback will follow each block.

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Tickets will be available for purchase starting at 10am on July 18 on the Virginia Theatre’s website and at the box office. Tickets will be $8 for each block, or $12 for a festival pass, and tickets for students 19 and under will be free.

Over 150 scripts were submitted for this year’s Pens to Lens Student Screenwriting Competition. Of those scripts, 22 films have been produced by members of the Champaign-Movie Makers (CMM). In addition, nearly 60 scripts were adapted as movie posters by members of the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization (CUDO) and will be on display.

Films shown during the first block are suitable for all ages. Films in the second block marked with an asterisk (*) contain brief moments of violence that may be inappropriate for young children. More information about the content in these films can be found at

Full schedule, including the film lineup:

1pm – Red Carpet Event

2pm – K-7th Grade Films:

The Adventures of Mr. Pancake
A Visit from the Tooth Fairy
Who Babysits Zombies?
The Taming of the Beast
The Sorceress
Double-O Kevin
Guys Go Green
Fast and Furious 8
Watch Out for Butterflies
The Goo Party
The Dummy vs. The Mad Robots
Race You to Russia

5pm – CUDO Gallery Show

6pm – 8-12th Grade Films:

Mr. Snuggles
The Doughnut Dance
The Time Will Come
The Brain Storm
My Imagination Became a Ninja and It’s Following Me
The Bedtime Story
*Zack and the Mountain Man
*The Runner

Pens to Lens started in 2013 as an opportunity for K-12 students to get involved with the local filmmaking community. Last year, nine original short films and 57 movie posters were produced based off scripts from over 120 screenplay submissions. The films and posters premiered to a standing-room only crowd at a red carpet gala at the Art Theater Co-Op.