WASHINGTON — President Obama said the film festival he hosted at the White House Friday is probably the only one ever featuring a director with a loose tooth.

The 15 films featured at the event were made by students chosen from among some 1,500 entries on this year’s theme of giving back. “It’s like the Sundance or Cannes of film festivals that are open to the public through a government website,” Obama said.

The young filmmakers were joined in the East Room turned movie theater by entertainment industry leaders, including Academy Award-winning actress Hillary Swank and Steve McQueen, director of the Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave.”

The loose tooth belonged to the youngest featured artist – 6-year-old Noah Gue of Bozeman, Montana, the son of a wildland firefighter father and photographer mother. His film was inspired by the changing climate and landscape in his hometown. Other winners included Chicago high school students who spun a hip-hop yarn of encouragement for peers facing adversity and a California 17-year-old who made a “sockumentary” about helping the homeless.

Obama used the event to announce a new mentoring program for aspiring artists. The American Film Institute and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have pledged to provide 1 million hours of mentoring over the next three years.

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