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Haydenfilms Institute emerged from the creative mind of executive director and founder Hayden Craddolph. A postgraduate Electronic Media major at Kutztown University, Craddolph transformed his Master's thesis from a static document into a fully-fledged organization, Haydenfilms LLC, that hosted the world's first online film festival in 2004. The resounding success of the Festival solidified the reputation of Haydenfilms LLC as a potential champion for the future of independent filmmakers. Haydenfilms LLC has since become Haydenfilms Institute, a federally-recognized nonprofit, and is currently preparing to announce the 5.0 Online Film Festival call for entries in the spring of 2013.

Haydenfilms Institute has also developed as a production-based organization. In 2007 Haydenfilms partnered with director Patrick Steward, a film student at New York University, to produce his film The Hollow Tree. Throughout the process, Haydenfilms fundraised for and assisted in providing material components of the film in a collaborative effort to bring Steward's vision to life. HFI's ultimate goal is to mirror its work with Steward with other filmmakers to produce original stories.

In 2008, Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading, Pa., reached out to HFI in hopes that Craddolph and his team could put their creative ambitions to use through a project that could help educate and empower its young members. Craddolph and his team obliged and orchestrated a program that would enable the Club's youth to speak out about gun violence, a social issue that connected deeply to them. Through the program, the members of the Boys & Girls Club wrote, directed and starred in three PSAs for the Speak Up! Campaign, an initiative working to promote the anonymous reporting of gun and weapon violence.

Drawing on the success of this project, HFI brought to life its Youth Media Initiative program. The premier YMI program, implemented in 2012, aimed to educate and train at-risk youth, 14-18 years, of age in the disciplines of film design, creation and production. By the end of the program, participants had successfully created 30-second long PSAs for local nonprofits. HFI is currently developing a broader YMI program. For more, click here.

HFI continues to serve as an authority on independent filmmaking. It strongly believes in the combined power of new media, technology and communication and is working to bring this power to ambitious artists locally and across the globe.