Michael Hoober, the man behind the Rumschpringe Film Festival wears many hats, but everything he does focuses on bringing positive change to Lancaster. Rumschpringe is one such venture and the event is approaching its fourth year of existence this fall. This year, the festival will feature 62 short films in 6 categories, totaling more than 14 hours of content. Michael told us about some of the films that won last year’s festival and what new things we can expect to see there this fall. This year’s festivities will be held over two weekends, September 30 thru October 2 at the  Stahr Performing Arts Center, and October 7-9 at Tellus 360.  For this year’s festival, Hoober plans to have a larger screen and possibly a new projector, and is hopeful that the fall weather will be a bit more appealing than 2010’s June heat. The event is still in need of sponsorship and Hoober is hoping to gain some ground with the assistance of MOOSE, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, and Kickstarter, an online fundraising program.

The name Rumschpringe comes from a German word which literally means “to jump around”, but locally, it has traditionally represented the period of time in an Amish adolescent’s life where they go out and experience the world  before making a decision to settle down and officially join their community. So for Michael, the word is more of “a movement of sorts in adolescence”.  Hoober’s mission through Rumschpringe is to reach out to Lancaster’s “disaffected youth”. He envisions creating a more loving and accepting community for all races, religions and lifestyles.

In addition to being a film festival coordinator, Michael is also a therapist, a teacher and a counselor in his professional life. He talked in depth with us about some of his work and his vision to see a lot less damaged and hurting people in our community. He is in the process of developing Rumschpringe ADVR (Applied Developmental Vehicles and Research). He wants to take traditional counseling and make it relevant for the real world. His new office will be housed at 237 N. Prince St, Suite 202 in Lancaster. If you want to find out more about what Michael does as a therapist, or how you can sponsor his upcoming festival, you can visit his website, www.rumschpringe.com or email him at contact@rumschpringe.com.

Support for this episode provided by Winding Way Books, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design & In HIS Name HR.

Theme music: Invisible Walls by Revolution Void
Break music: Original Piece by Keith Slesser