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Youth Filmmaking Programs

Looking for a film program specifically created for teens or younger filmmakers? Check out our list of programs below — some are free!
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Organization/Program Location Description Cost
Austin Film School's Youth ProgramsAustin, TXIn existence since 1999 as the Center for Youth Cinema, the Austin Film School offers small classes for ages 10 to 19. Small classes ensure personal attention and encourage group collaboration in all facets of filmmaking, including screenwriting, visualization, developing narrative, and the entire production and postproduction process. Partners with SXSW to offer classes and workshops during the festival.Summer Camps - Half Day: $395, Full Day: $670; Free workshops at SXSW
The Austin Film Society's Film ClubAustin, TXOur after school program, the AFS Film Club, engages a number young filmmakers at Austin middle schools and elementary schools. During the summer, we offer filmmaking camps for kids 9 to 18, teaching genres ranging from animation to sci-fi. In addition, we offer a number of community education program also offers craft workshops, moviemaker dialogues, and our Ed Lowry Student Film Program, offering free tickets to students for our screenings.Free!
The Austin Film Society's Summer Filmmaking CampAustin, TXFor more than two decades, the Austin Film Society has served as the hub of Austin's vibrant film community. Summer @ Austin Studios offers a unique opportunity to work with local filmmakers and experience the magic of film and filmmaking. Whether it's developing a script idea or producing an animation project, AFS programs provide a fun, nurturing space for exploration and collaboration.$275 - $325
Automatic StudiosBrooklyn, NY At Automatic Studios, kids jump right into camp week by working with experienced filmmakers and using professional equipment. Camp week includes: Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Studio & Location Production Shooting, Special Effects and Editing - Even Craft Service Snacks! Each camp week ends with an opening party and screening of the completed films at The Made in NY Media Center in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Five-day session $675; One-day session $150.
Bay Area Video CoalitionSan Francisco, CAThe Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) offers industry-standard training in digital media production to high-school-age young adults from predominantly low-income backgrounds. Taught by award-winning professionals, the program teaches leadership skills and helps students build portfolios in video and web production, audio engineering, coding and design, to prepare for paid summer internships or other capstone experiences. Free!
BAYCATSan Francisco, CABAYCAT offers free classes in media and design. Through project-based learning and access to the latest digital technology, students are able to learn professional media applications while discovering their innate artistic abilities. Studio BAYCAT hires BAYCAT graduates to work with professionals to produce effective and engaging marketing materials for clients ranging from small merchants to multinational corporations. They work with clients on a pro-bono as well as for-fee basis. Free!
Brooklyn Young Filmmakers CenterBrooklyn, NYBrooklyn Young Filmmakers Center's mission is help low-income and working-class adults and teens become part of Brooklyn and New York City's expansive media industry growth, by using low/no budget filmmaking as a hands-on initiation to the diverse careers in film. The Community Filmmaking model is also a bootcamp to promote literacy, social skills, professional work ethics, intergenerational collaborations, cultural exchange, multi-tiered mentoring, research techniques, and an initiation to the creative process and art appreciation.Free!-$200
Chicago FilmmakersChicago, ILChicago Filmmakers offers year-round programs for youth in film and video production, but their most popular program is the Digital Moviemaking Summer Camps, covering all aspects of digital moviemaking, from initial concept to finished film. Chicago Filmmakers also develops youth courses for area schools and organizations. Often classes are designed to help students learn media literacy, gain technical proficiency and practice visual storytelling techniques. Chicago Filmmakers promotes a hands-on approach that can be applied immediately to projects designed to meet cirriculum needs. $235-$475
Colorado Springs Youth Documentary Academy (Bemis School of Art)Colorado Springs, COFounded by POV alum Tom Shepard, the Colorado Springs Youth Documentary Academy offers training in media and documentary film to high school students from Southern Colorado's under-served communities.Free!
The Denver Film Society's Young Filmmakers WorkshopsDenver, COThe Denver Film Society's Young Filmmakers Workshops are leading filmmaking camps for teens, ages 12-18. Teens will learn the art of filmmaking, refine their work with film industry professionals, collaborate with new friends, and exhibit their films in public premieres. $350-$800
The Digital Media AcademyVariousThe Digital Media Academy offers summer camps for kids and teens and Pro-Series courses for adult-learners. Founded in 2001 by a group from Stanford University, DMA is best known for its premier summer programs at college campuses. In addition, DMA provides on-site training to schools and companies and offers workshops throughout the year at its training facility in Los Gatos, CA. DMA's teen and adult courses are accredited by Stanford University Continuing Studies and offered for optional Stanford Continuing Studies credit. $1000-$4000+
The Educational Video CenterNew York, NYThe Educational Video Center is a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teach documentary video to teenagers as a way to express artistically while approaching issues for social change. It was founded in 1984 and has evolved from a single video workshop for teenagers from Manhattan's Lower East Side to become an internationally acclaimed leader in youth media education.Free!
Filmmakers For Tomorrow FoundationWashington, DCFilmmakers for Tomorrow Foundation (FFTF) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that provides young aspiring filmmakers with educational and financial resources. FFTF's mission is to encourage and support diverse artistic and cinematic expression of American life among young filmmakers. Through their grant program and youth-oriented projects, FFTF is developing the next generation of local filmmakers ages 16-25. FFTF also seeks to establish a network of artists, professionals, and educators as mentors to young filmmakers to help sharpen their artistic talents.Free!
Ghetto Film SchoolBronx, NYGhetto Film School operates three interrelated programs; each year they educate 650 young storytellers with South Bronx programming, and over 100,000 nationwide and beyond through strategic collaborations and an online MasterClass series. The Cinema School is a selective academic high school that offers students a rigorous liberal arts curriculum grounded in creative activity, prepares students for the best colleges, and pushes them to new levels of understanding of themselves and the world.Free!
The Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts LabPleasantville, NYThe Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is committed to education programs in 21st century literacy and to innovative film programming. The Media Arts Lab, their state-of-the art facility located down the street from the JBFC Theater in Pleasantville, NY, is the hub of the education programs. International faculty presents dozens of courses in multimedia storytelling for children, teens, and adults at the Lab. In addition, they create and teach innovative programs for schools and organizations. Free!-$800
LYNX National Arts & Media CampsDenver, COThe 2015 LYNX Camp is a two-week residential program for high school students on the CU Denver campus. LYNX Camp offers programs in photography, video, TV and film production, digital design, digital animation and 3D graphics and music industry. Courses are be taught by noted CU Denver College of Arts & Media faculty in our leading edge facilities. Leading professionals from the Denver community and beyond provide guest lectures. In addition to customized instruction in their academic program of choice, students have the opportunity for integrative experiences across the five programs. The evening activities consist of cultural, recreational, team building and co-curricular programs.$1,400-$1,900
The Maysles Institute's Teen Producers AcademyNew York, NYThe Teen Producers Academy at the Maysles Documentary Center was first launched in 2006 with the intention of bringing children in the Harlem community access to the tools and confidence they need to become creative participants in digital media rather than passive consumers of it. They take new students every summer for an immersive program, and select students to continue their work through the fall and spring in our after school program.Free!
Media Arts Center San Diego Digital GymSan Diego, CAIn the Teen Producer Project classes, teens will learn the basic principles of filmmaking while learning how to make short, 2-3 minute digital stories. Students will learn basic lighting techniques, storyboarding, camera skills, and Final Cut Pro. In the Advanced TPP classes young adults will learn the key principals of video production using the latest HD DSLR cameras, digital audio field-recording, balancing audio levels, and soundtrack creation. Students will also learn color correction, titles, captions, credits, and other advanced Final Cut Pro skills.$20-$255
Media Enterprise AllianceOakland, CAMedia Enterprise Alliance (MEA) provides high school students in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) with the opportunity to study media arts with a focus on video production. Through a curriculum that reflects state and district arts education standards, students acquire artistic and technical skills that give them a voice to effect social change within their community, while developing tools to satisfy the necessary requirements for college admission and successful job placement.Free!
Movie Makers (Young Storytellers Foundation)Los Angeles, CA Movie Makers is a Young Storytellers Foundation free after-school program for middle school students. Participants work with high school mentors to write, direct and shoot a short film. The year-long program culminates in a screening of the films for friends and family at sponsor studios in LA. Sponsors include Sony, HBO, Disney and WME.Free!
National Geographic Student ExpeditionsAlaska, Iceland, Switzerland & France and AustraliaNational Geographic Student Expeditions are nine day to three week summer programs for high school students that blend hands-on learning and adventure. These unique programs are crafted to cater to each high school student's interests, including Film & Video. Students can choose to focus on filmmaking, working in production teams to document their journey and the people they meet while traveling. The expedition culminates in a final video project. Our Experts and trip leaders help students learn the art and craft of filmmaking, including using production cameras in the field, creating time lapses, capturing great GoPro footage, or even using their phones to craft short digital stories. A National Geographic expert joins each trip to lend an insider's perspective as students explore. $5,690-$8,590
NJ Film SchoolNew Providence, NJAll of NJ Film School's classes are limited to 10 students or less and everyone is encouraged to "get their hands dirty". Screenwriters will write, actors will act, and filmmakers will shoot films using their equipment.$100-$1,500
The Northwest Film Center's School of FilmPortland, ORFor more than a quarter of a century, the Northwest Film Center's Young Filmmakers Program has served youth of all backgrounds and abilities from throughout Oregon and beyond. Supported by community, corporate, and foundation contributors, the Young Filmmakers Program is one of the oldest and most respected programs of its kind in the nation. The Young Filmmakers Program places leading Northwest filmmakers, animators, video producers, and multimedia artists in school and community settings throughout Oregon for hands-on activities lasting from two weeks to an entire academic year.$345-$1,161+
Old School FilmsBrooklyn, NYEach filmmaker is paired with an expierenced mentor to make a documentary about a local senior citizen. The filmmakers go through the entire process of production from "pre" to "post."Free!
Pacific Arts Movement's Reel VoicesSan Diego,CASince 2005, the Reel Voices program has taught students the art of documentary filmmaking through an intense, 12-week summer internship. Students become socially conscious storytellers, learn Final Cut Pro editing, experience all stages of production and post-production, and receive a $500 scholarship for their work. The films are also packaged into a DVD and travel to film festivals around the world.Free!
The Pittsburgh Filmmakers Youth Media ProgramPittsburgh, PAThe Pittsburgh Filmmakers Youth Media Program provides media literacy education to the region through innovative classes, hands-on workshops, and outreach programs to schools and other community partners. Classes, camps and workshops are offered in a wide range of media including digital video, filmmaking, photography, animation and interactive media. Awards range from $100 to $405.About $300 per course
Reel GrrlsSeattle, WAReel Grrls is the premier year-round media-training program for girls. At Reel Grrls, girls ages 9 - 21 learn production skills through hands-on workshops and classes taught by female media professionals and educators. Since 2001, over 1000 students have participated in Reel Grrls programs and Reel Grrls media have been honored in more than 90 film festivals globally.Pay what you can ($75-$350 suggested)
Reel WorksBrooklyn, NYReel Works provides a free filmmaking program continuum for NYC teens. Using a unique one-on-one mentoring model, they challenge at-risk youth to tell their stories and have their voices heard. In turn, they build vital skills of literacy, leadership and self-confidence to create productive futures.Free!
Seattle Film Institute's Summer Teen ProgramSeattle, WAThe Summer Teen Program concentrates on developing skills in film and video production. This intensive two week program culminates with students completing a final project on video. Students will also have the unique opportunity to shoot on film while learning about the special qualities of film and the actual differences between film and video. Students take full responsibility for their projects as they write the scripts, prepare storyboards, and finally shoot and edit the project. $790-$995
Spark Media ProjectPoughkeepsie, NYThe Children's Media Project focuses on Media Literacy through multimedia education. Founded in 1994, as an outgrowth of teaching animation to 4th graders, CMP stemmed from the belief that children need to know how to read and write in the increasingly dominant language of image, word, and sound. CMP has evolved into an award-winning community resource housed in the core of Poughkeepsie's inner city, serving youth, artists, schools, and organizations in the Hudson Valley. As a media art, technology, and education organization, CMP has collaborated region-wide with over K-12 school districts and hundreds of organizations. Free - $550
Spy HopSalt Lake City, UTFounded in 1999, Spy Hop is a nonprofit youth media arts and education center whose mission is to mentor young people in the digital media arts to help them find their voice, tell their stories, and be empowered to affect positive change in their lives, their communities, and the World. Their afterschool and community programs in film, audio, design and music production are a model for youth development programs across the nation and Spy Hop is recognized by the White House as a leading nonprofit arts and humanities organization.Free!
The Cinema School (TCS)Bronx, NYThe Cinema School (TCS) is a selective academic public high school located in the Bronx, New York, with a liberal arts curriculum grounded in the art of filmmaking.Free!
Tribeca Film Institute Film Fellows ProgramNew York, NYEach year, TFI selects 20 NYC youth filmmakers (ages 16-18) to participate in its Tribeca Film Fellows program. Programming includes development of a personal creative project, panel discussions, workshops, mentoring by Festival film directors, screenings, and special events. In the Summer Arts Institute, young filmmakers collaborate with instructors and receive one-on-one attention as they work towards completing their final group and personal projects. This rigorous program is designed for students who have a media-making background. Free!
Wide Angle Youth MediaBaltimore, MDWide Angle Youth Media is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides Baltimore youth ages 10 to 20 with media education to tell their own stories and become engaged with their communities. Through quality after-school programming, in-school opportunities, summer workshops, community events, and an annual Youth Media Festival, Wide Angle supports young people making a difference through media.Free!
Youth FX: Film ExperienceAlbany, NYYouth FX: Film Experience, a program of Grand Street Community Arts (GSCA), is an intensive hands-on program designed to introduce teens aged 14-18 to the artistic and technical process of digital filmmaking by offering a thorough overview of the production process from script to screen. Focusing on visual storytelling, artistic expression and performance, participants create digital video projects in various genres, including documentary, narrative short fiction and public service announcements.400
Youth Media Sanctuary (The Sanctuary For Independent Media)North Troy, NYYouth Media Sanctuary (YMS) is a community media arts peer-training project, designed to teach multimedia skills to young people in North Troy, NY, and to help develop urgently needed independent local voices in the neighborhood.$1-$350

If you have an addition, update or correction, please email filmmakers[at]pov.org and let us know!

Last Updated: 12/19/2014