Youth Film Lab
In July of 2018 the Woodstock Film Festival hosted a three week Summer Youth Film Lab at the Center for Creative Education in Kingston, NY. Ten Hudson Valley teenage students had the opportunity to learn about the filmmaking process from three professional teachers and three teacher assistants, as well as from ten visiting film industry professionals such as: Academy Award winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River, I’m Dying Up Here), Academy Award winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (Life Animated, God Loves Uganda), Award winning editor Sabine Hoffman (Elvis and Nixon, Maggie’s Plan) and NYU film professor and filmmaker Janet Grillo (Fly Away, Jack and the Red Hearts). After a visit at Radio Kingston where the students were interviewed live on the radio by the radio's executive director Jimmy Buff, the students, teachers and teacher assistants went back to the Center for Creative Education and got ready for their "closeup"; the screening of their films in front of many of their family members and friends. The films were then shown to the public at the 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival.
The Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab was made possible with support from an anonymous donor.
“When I reflect on the accomplishments and success of the inaugural Woodstock Film Festival Youth Film Lab, I smile. In just six weeks we were able to conceptualize and create the program. We hired teachers, designed curriculum and recruited students…The students were committed to the program and motivated to bring their concepts to the big screen. At the film festival the students and their families beamed with pride. So many smiles! I truly believe that the WFF Summer Youth Film Lab students learned skills and techniques that will help them to continue to grow as storytellers for many years to come.”
- Program Director, Megan Sperry
“It was just like a whole new mindset kind of opened up for me. It was really inspiring and really interesting. Definitely changed my mindset. Made me want to make documentaries.” - Student participant, Sam Levine
“Thank you so much for sharing the films that were created in such a short time during your amazing workshop! I was impressed by the inventiveness and range of approaches. Congratulations to everyone and I very much hope the program can be continued for future participants.” - Editor, Sabine Hoffman
“Thank you so much for all your work with our kids. I was amazed as I watched the films! I know Seamus enjoyed his teachers and he received encouraging feedback from you all... this means a lot to us! All the best!” - Jennifer Boylan, Seamus’s Mother