Interview with BYU-Idaho Radio

Taken from the BYU-Idaho Radio website.

Rexburg will hold its first film festival this spring. The Grand Teton Film Festival will debut May 31 through June 1. This festival has a lot of fun activities to offer and an intriguing back story of its own.

“We initially weren’t planning on doing something so big,” said Steven Vest, the founder and director of the Grand Teton Film Festival.

Vest explained that he and the committee for the festival wanted to be taken seriously and attract films from everywhere. With that goal in mind they realized they would have to go big or go home.

Vest admitted he didn’t think they would reach this magnitude for their debut year. The committee had agreed ahead of time to table the project if any road blocks came up. But with all the support from the community and city Vest said everything has just kept snowballing.

The festival will span several days and offer a variety of films, activities, and entertainment.

Industry professionals will teach workshops. Vest clarified there won’t be panel discussions or PowerPoint presentations.

“They’re going to be doing hands on interactive workshops so people can learn how to do stuff and be inspired to go out and create,” Vest said.

There will be a street fair on Center Street with food vendors, live entertainment, and booths with the sponsors of the festival.

The films will be shown at the Paramount 5 Theater, Romance Theater, and Rexburg Tabernacle Civic Center.

Vest said people can take a break from films or workshops and go get treats and then go back inside for more!

The first night of the film festival will be a formal black tie gala. Vest said that event is pretty exclusive with limited seats open for the public.

“It’s more for the film makers, and VIP guests, sponsors and partners of the festival,” Vest said. “Just kind of a thank you gala for supporting the film festival.”

Awards will be presented on the last night of the event.

“We’ve got a killer award show planned,” Vest assured.

He explained he’s been to other film shows and the award shows fell flat. He wanted to make sure they do something big and fun. They’ve partnered with Madison High School to do the award show in the auditorium there. In addition, the BYU-Idaho Theatre Department is planning the show opener and designing everything. He said he’s grateful to have them on board.

After the award show, musician William Joseph will play a 90-minute celebratory concert to end the weekend with a bang.

With regards to the film submissions they’ve received films from all over the U.S. Not only that, but they’ve had films submitted from Iran, Ireland, Mexico, and New Zealand.

If people still want to submit a film, they are accepting late submissions until May 1. Film Freeway is the platform Vest is using. Film makers can create a profile and then upload their movie and any extra content. With just a few clicks you can submit a film to the festival.

Vest reminded everyone the film festival is designed to be family friendly.

“We’ve been very strict with our viewer content requirements,” Vest said. He assures that families who come don’t have to worry about seeing or hearing inappropriate content.

There are six different film categories. There will be feature films, short films, animated short films, documentaries, music videos, and home movies. The home movies category is to encourage youth to participate. Kids can make a backyard video with an iPhone if they want to try out film making.

“I’ve been to other film festivals where they’ve done home movie programs and they’re really popular,” Vest said. “In fact, a lot of times, those home movie blocks are more attended than the other films.”

Vest himself has always been a film enthusiast. He didn’t pursue it until his wife suggested he study video. He studied video production at BYU-Idaho and graduated in 2014. In 2013 he founded his own company Synergy Digital. He produced a feature length documentary that was shown in theaters here and in Utah, on Temple Square, and at the LDS Film Festival.

That experience inspired him to support film making. For the last six years he has organized a premiere night for the short film class at BYU-Idaho. The films would be shown and everyone would get to dress up and celebrate their efforts.

Vest said he often got approached by others outside of the class wanting to submit films. Vest had to say no. It was those requests that planted the idea to someday do a film festival. Now, that small dream has become a reality.


Call for entries to the 1st Annual Grand Teton Film Festival is now open.

Filmmakers can submit their films using FilmFreeway -the world’s #1 festival submission platform.

Film categories are: Feature Films, Short Films, Documentaries, Animated Short Films, Music Videos, and Home Movies.

For details and rules, click here.

Porter Pro Media Joins 2019 Festival Season

We are excited to announce that Porter Pro Media is an Honorary Sponsor of the Grand Teton Film Festival.

Porter Pro Media is a digital marketing agency based in Idaho Falls that specializes in high-end video production and photography as well as social media, SEO, and website design. We are proud to have them on board for the 2019 festival season. Be sure to check them out at:

New Sponsor Joins Festival

We are excited to announce that Silver Star Communications is an Honorary Sponsor of the Grand Teton Film Festival. Silver Star is a leading edge communications company that was recently awarded two National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grants to implement fiber optic technologies to improve internet and other services throughout Wyoming and Eastern Idaho. We are proud to have them on board for the 2019 festival season.

Be sure to check them out at:

William Joseph To Perform at 2019 Award Ceremony

Popular International Artist to
Perform Celebratory Concert
William Joseph to be featured at the 2019
Grand Teton Film Festival Award Ceremony

REXBURG, IDAHO– William Joseph will take the stage on the evening of June 1, 2019 to celebrate the conclusion of the first annual Grand Teton Film Festival. Joseph will be joining several local choirs and orchestras to put on this grand performance which include members of the Teton Chamber Orchestra (Eric Wenstrom), the Rexburg Tabernacle Orchestra (Dr. Kevin Call), students of Madison High School, students and faculty of Brigham Young University-Idaho and members of the surrounding communities.

As an electrifying pianist, composer and producer, William Joseph’s arrangements combine classic melodies with the unexpected. Inspired by his classical training as well as his love of pop, rock and dubstep, Joseph creates powerful compositions and jaw-dropping performances.

After growing up as a child prodigy in Arizona, Joseph has had countless special opportunities to perform with world-class artists including David Foster, Beyoncé, John Legend, Steven Tyler, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah McLachlan, Blake Shelton, Seal, Natalie Cole, Il Divo, and Barbra Streisand among many others.

Joseph performed with renowned singer Josh Groban for his “Closer” tour in 2004 covering 12 cities with 16 concerts and with American Idol superstar Clay Aiken in 2005 for his “Joyful Noise” tour covering 36 cities with 40 concerts.

Joseph has released three albums featuring his work. His YouTube channel features dozens of amazing cinematic videos and collaborations with popular artists such as Lindsey Stirling, Caroline Campbell, Simply Three, and Chris Botti. William is a Yamaha® Artist and was recently featured in a national ad campaign with his Yamaha® piano for Mitsubishi Motors®.

Joseph has been frequently sought after to produce and perform for major corporations, some of which include Target, Cirque du Soleil, MGM, Nu Skin and Kay Jewelers. In addition to his large concerts, Joseph is also in high demand to perform at private house parties for celebrities. He has most recently played at the homes of Jane Seymour, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Olivia Newton-John, and Eva Longoria.

More information on the Award Ceremony and Celebratory Concert with William Joseph can be found here. Information regarding William Joseph can be found at:

2019 GTFF Complete Educational Workshop Lineup

Introducing the complete lineup of presenters and classes for the 2019 Educational Workshop Series.
We are excited to bring the expertise and knowledge of these talented individuals to our festival!

Grand Teton Film Festival is dedicated to providing education for all levels of filmmakers by enlisting industry professionals to teach hands-on workshops that will empower and encourage participants to create. As part of our mission to celebrate the art of filmmaking, we recognize that providing valuable, top-quality education is a critical need. Through these classes, we hope to lift up filmmakers, raise the standard of excellence, and enable networking opportunities.

“On behalf of the GTFF Committee, I express our sincere gratitude to the workshop presenters for their enthusiasm to participate in this year’s season and we look forward to seeing them in June.”
Steven Vest
Founder | Director
Grand Teton Film Festival

For more information on the classes and presenters, click here.

Enrollment begins March 1, 2019.

Film Scoring Workshop Coming To Festival

Grand Teton Film Festival adds music workshop with composer Jordan Roper to educational series.

REXBURG, IDAHO– Jordan Roper is a film composer who works with directors around the world. His melodic, memorable film scores appear in dozens of feature films, short films and marketing campaigns. He looks forward to bringing insights and knowledge to eager musicians who attend his film scoring workshop at the Grand Teton Film Festival in Rexburg next summer.

Roper focuses his work on inner conflicts, character experiences, and feelings instead of just the external conflicts and visuals of films. His unique style has garnered multiple commissions from notable organizations such as the Cheyenne Wyoming Symphony and the Reno Nevada Philharmonic.

As an experienced conductor and orchestrator, Roper has worked with the Seattle Studio Musicians and has published works performed by the BYU-Idaho Women’s Choir and Percussion Symphony. His Master of Music in Film Composition from Pacific Northwest University’s film scoring program gave him the opportunity to work closely with the film composer and two-time Emmy™ award winner, Hummie Mann.

Roper is also orchestrating an original composition as the overture for the Grand Teton Film Festival which will be debuted with a full orchestra at the Award Ceremony on June 1, 2019.

Film scoring is often an under-served or neglected filmmaking element at most film festivals. Music is what drives emotions, builds suspense, and connects us to the characters. We are excited to emphasize this important component of films with Roper’s experience and creativity.

Cinematography Workshop added to education lineup.

Filmmaker Lars Lindstrom is bringing his knowledge and talents to GTFF 2019.


REXBURG, IDAHO– Los Angeles native Lars Lindstrom left the beach for the mountains when he studied Communications at BYU-Idaho. Following his undergrad education, he attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he earned a graduate degree in Cinematography.

Lindstrom is a Director as well as a Director of Photography with style for miles and enthusiasm no matter how heavy the camera. Specializing in enhanced realism, he is practiced at producing the spontaneity of life with finesse and polish.

With 15 feature films under his belt and dozens of short films, as well as nominations for an Emmy™, an Addy™ and Best Cinematography at the Utah Film Festival, Lindstrom is excited to bring his talent and knowledge to patrons of his cinematography workshop at the Grand Teton Film Festival in summer 2019.

Lindstrom’s most notable work includes Love Everlasting starring Lucky Blue Smith, Mad Genius starring Chris Mason, and a bunch of Lifetime TV thrillers that your grandma loves! He recently wrapped on his latest feature film Stripped starring Lisa Ann Walter for which he worked as Director of Photography.

When he isn’t busy shooting films or globetrotting, he’s shooting commercials with celebrities like Betty White, Blake Griffin, and Gary Busey.

New Major Festival Sponsor

We are excited to announce that Madison Memorial Hospital has become an Honorary Sponsor of the Grand Teton Film Festival’s special Award Ceremony.

Madison Memorial has been, and continues to be, a major supporter of the arts in the area and we are proud to have them on board for the 2019 festival season.

Be sure to check them out at:

Prominent Idaho News Anchor To Teach And Emcee At Grand Teton Film Festival

Local News Anchor to Teach and
Emcee at Grand Teton Film Festival
Longtime Local News 8 anchor Jay Hildebrandt joins
Eastern Idaho’s premiere film festival for 2019 season.

REXBURG, IDAHO– Jay Hildebrandt from KIFI Local News 8 in Idaho Falls will teach a Video Journalism class as part of the educational workshops being offered at the Grand Teton Film Festival. In addition, Hildebrandt will also emcee the festival’s spectacular Awards Ceremony on June 1.

Aside from his 35 years as a weeknight anchor on Channel 8, Hildebrandt frequently does his own news reports and stories. Showing his many talents, Hildebrandt photographs, films, writes and edits these reports personally.

Hildebrandt’s current and previous positions have allowed him to work on stories with governors, presidents, movie stars and world religious leaders. Prior to his work at Local News 8, Hildebrandt worked as an anchor and reporter at KMVT in Twin Falls and WKIG in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Most rewarding for Hildebrandt has been his Wednesday’s Child weekly news series featuring foster children from around Eastern Idaho who are waiting to be adopted into permanent families. Hildebrandt may also be recognized on the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho as an adjunct professor of Public Speaking and Broadcast Performance for the school’s Communication Department.

He and his wife, Sally, have five children and fourteen grandchildren.