The Carthage Main Street Youth Advisory Council is excited to announce the finalists and finalist judges for their first annual Mainstreet Short Film Festival at The Esquire Theater, taking place Friday.

Eighteen finalist films will be screened in two categories: Youth (18 and under) and Independent (19 and older) on Feb. at 7 p.m. Doors to the Esquire will open at 6 p.m., with $10 admission for adults and $5 admission for students.

Finalists from all over Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, India and Paris, France.

Finalists in the Youth category are “Callback” and “Spotless Mind” by Rhett Goldman from Carthage; “16 Weeks” by Mary Katherine Smith of Carthage; “New Kid” by Brendan Morton of Gary; “Envy” by Hayley Dreymala of Gary; “Apple” by Anagha Komalankutty of Kerala, India; “The Spaghetti Monster” and “Slotter Room” by Kari Thomas of Aptos, California; “How To Make Toast” by Collin Hanks and Hayden Kirkpatrick of Carthage; and “The Last Kids” by Sheril Rodgers of Fayetteville, Georgia.

Finalists in the Independent Filmmakers category are “Help Me” by Jim Morton of Erie, Pennsylvania; “I Resign” by Jay Mohan of Dallas; “Life” by Naga Velpuri of Dallas; “Radio Moon” by Pierre Gaffie’ of Paris, France; “Salting the Fly” by Craig Mooneyham of Conroe; “Serum” by Calvin Henson, Jr. of Nacogdoches; “Three Arrows” by Dylan Coslet of Denton; and “Lillian” by Molly Vernon of League City.

Many of these filmmakers will be coming to Carthage for the festival. Wade Barlow, vice president of The Country Music Hayride, Inc. will emcee the event with guest speaker Derek Wayne Johnson, who will also serve as a judge for the event.

Johnson is a Carthage native and an award-winning director, writer, producer and editor in Los Angeles. In his senior year of film school at Stephen F. Austin State University, Johnson wrote and directed his first feature film, “Within Us.” After college, he broke into the movie business in Texas and Louisiana by directing independent feature films such as “Broken Blood” and “Scrape.” Johnson has directed multiple documentaries, including “John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs,” “40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic,” and “STALLONE: Frank, That Is.”

There will be an awards ceremony after the films are screened. A reception will follow the awards at the Esquire Theater, and all festival attendees are invited.

The finalist judges include Johnson, Brad Maule, Tina Nguyen, Griffin Vance, Blake Holland and Keith Clark.

Maule has received two Emmy Award nominations, one for best actor and one for best supporting actor in a daytime series, both for his best-known role of Dr. Tony Jones on “General Hospital.” Maule has filmed more than 3,000 hours of television.

Nguyen is the CBS 19 weekend sports anchor/reporter who just spent a season with the NBA on their social and digital team in the New York City area.

Vance is the chief operations officer at Sentai Filmworks in Houston.

Holland is anchor of East Texas News at 5 and a reporter for KLTV/KTRE. A Carthage native, Holland started anchoring the KGAS Radio 5 p.m. newscasts while in high school and also served as the news director. Holland attended the University of North Texas in Denton. While at UNT, he served as the assistant news director of the award-winning campus television station. He was also the recipient of two Lone Star EMMY Student Production Awards in the fall of 2016 for his work at North Texas Television.

Clark has more than 13 years’ experience in corporate and commercial films and videos as well as technical support for dozens of major motion pictures. Clark worked on many notable projects, including “The Rookie,” “Lone Star State of Mind,” “The Apostle,” “Spy Kids” I, II and III, “Any Given Sunday” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He has been the recipient of several Addy and Telly awards.

Nominations for best actor and actress are:

Best Actress Indie Film

  • Ali Wagner, “Life”
  • Danesa DeLong, “Life”
  • Marilyne Fontaine, “Radio Moon”
  • Athena Hayes, “Serum”
  • Mikaela Free, “Three Arrows”
  • Shanae’a Moore, “Lillian”
  • Detria Ward, “Lillian”

Best Actor: Indie Film

  • Manoj Pillai, “I Resign”
  • Chris Drexel, “Help Me”
  • Sage Wagner, “Life”
  • Samuel Irving, “Salting The Fly”
  • Calvin Henson, Jr., “Serum”
  • Dylan McBryde, “Three Arrows”

Best Actress Young Filmmaker

  • Annie Mahaffey, “Callback”
  • Elna Rosalie Leonard, “The Spaghetti Monster”
  • Gianna Castoreno, “The Last Kids”
  • Mary Katherine Smith, “Spotless Mind”
  • Katie Thomas, “New Kid”
  • Jett Gregor, “Slotter Room”

Best Actor Young Filmmaker

  • Dylan Essery, “New Kid”
  • Montgomery Samuel Thomas, “The Spaghetti Monster”
  • Kaden Hendry, “The Spaghetti Monster”
  • Taven Epps, “The Last Kids”
  • Montgomery Samuel Thomas, “Slotter Room”
  • Collin Hanks, “Spotless Mind”