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Concordia announces first-ever comedy video festival

Dec. 9, 2015

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Concordia Lutheran High School announces the call for entries to the first-ever Concordia Comedy Festival. Area students in middle and high school are invited to submit their comedy videos from sketches to parodies to interviews and everything in between.

“We wanted to make something to showcase the innovative, funny videos being done by students all over the area,” said Nathan Gotsch, CLHS media arts teacher and creator of comedy content for FX, Funny or Die and Yahoo! “This festival is a chance for students to have their work seen in front of an audience as well as encouraging those that are thinking about a career in comedy.”

Judging the competition will be Joe Harkenrider, a 2002 CLHS graduate and producer for Comedy Central’s digital division; Nick Rutherford, who wrote for “Saturday Night Live” during the 2014-15 season; and Julie Kraut, currently writing for Bravo’s hit new TV series “Odd Mom Out.”

Finalists will be announced March 4 and shown on the big screen at a special event on March 18 at the Cinema Center in downtown Fort Wayne, when the winners will be announced. First prize entries in both the high school and middle school categories will receive a copy of Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s professional editing software (a $299.99 value).

Harkenrider and Rutherford will be in attendance at the Cinema Center for a conversation about pursuing a career in comedy following the screening as well as at a special private reception for all finalists immediately after the awards are unveiled.

“If it weren’t for my time at Concordia, I wouldn’t be working at Comedy Central or even have a career in Hollywood,” Harkenrider said. “I’m really excited to be a part of this and get to give back to kids like me who are thinking about pursuing a similar path.”

The submission deadline is Feb. 12. Entries can be uploaded at via FilmFreeway. An adult must sign up for a free FilmFreeway account.

A submission fee of $5 will charged for each entry to help offset administrative and processing costs. However, this fee will be waived for any students submitting entries as part of a required assignment in a class at their school. Teachers can request this waiver by emailing

The Concordia Comedy Festival is open to any student in grade 6-12 currently attending a school or being home-schooled in the following counties: Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells and Whitley.

Submissions may not be longer than three minutes, including credits, which are not required. Entries should be free of profanity and appropriate to show in front of a large audience of students and adults.

To learn more, visit or contact Nathan Gotsch at or (260) 483-1102.

Concordia Lutheran High School, located at 1601 St. Joe River Drive in Fort Wayne, Ind., was founded in 1935 as a private, co-educational Lutheran high school open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. With Christ at the center, Concordia continues to pursue educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ. Utilizing the most current technologies and state-of-the-art equipment, Concordia’s Media Arts students participate in a wide variety of projects that will help them develop an understanding of digital media. Students study narrative and documentary filmmaking, commercials, music videos and various forms of digital production. Learn more at