Closing the achievement gap & opportunity gapBuilding the skills, portfolio, and social connections for lifelong learners.
To close the Achievement Gap, our curriculum is aligned with English and VAPA Standards. Every student, no matter his or her academic background, writes from experience, learns the value of their voice and promotes their ideas, verbally and in writing. Our young filmmakers learn graduate-level concepts and decide how to apply them to their films, while collaborating and problem solving with their peers. YCP is not a classroom exercise in which students pretend to be filmmakers. Every Youth Cinema Project student is a filmmaker.
YCP students are taken to specially designed industry field trips where the curriculum is enhanced by our studio partnerships. Similarly, Hollywood professionals are brought into the classroom to teach specific, skilled workshops. In the fall, as students develop their scripts, they have a Hollywood screening of a major motion picture, followed by a Q&A with the studio and film’s screenwriter, giving students direct access to working writers. At the end of the year, all of the students have their final screenings in a professional Hollywood setting. In Southern California, students screen their films at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and CAA (Creative Artist Agency). In Northern California, students screen their films at Pixar.
Hollywood shapes culture and the development of societal norms, but it does not reflect the diversity of our society. Equity and access issues have kept minorities from telling their stories on Hollywood screens. These issues have limited the dispersal of cultural knowledge and a better acceptance of our diverse world. YCP builds the skills, portfolio, and social connections that young filmmakers need to work in the industry. Our organization secures internships and fellowships for those talented content creators who want to continue working in the entertainment industry.
Similarly, #OscarsSoWhite highlighted a major issue in Hollywood, but did not focus on the next generation of content creators. YCP is pushing children through school and graduating them to college. Entire cohorts, who have been making films since 4th grade, are better able to compete, because they have been training with industry professionals since the age of nine.
Because of our groundbreaking work with Santa Ana Unified, Chapman University has committed to give ten full-ride scholarships for the next three years to our Santa Ana Unified School District YCP students. We plan to establish similar partnerships with other universities and school districts around the state. The idea is to dramatically increase the number of artists from emerging communities who are excellently trained in the audio visual language, thereby making them better prepared to compete in the entertainment industry. YCP aspires to empower emerging communities and to create pathways to opportunity for their children.
Our industry partners create educational opportunities for our YCP students, which allow us to create a pipeline from public schools to the entertainment industry. The educational opportunities include, but are not limited to, studio field trips, workshops with working industry personnel, screening opportunities with filmmakers, screenwriter Q&As, and classroom specialized visits.
We bring industry professionals to the most at-risk classrooms around the state and collaborate with school districts to implement our curriculum in 4th-12th grade public schools. Each class meets twice a week for ninety-minute blocks throughout the entire school year. This is not an after school program. This is an in-class, push-in program. What makes YCP different from any other film education program in the nation is that we believe our children will rise to the level of expectation, so we guide our students though the entire filmmaking process, starting with story development, continuing with production and postproduction, all the way until their end-of-year industry screenings.
This is a 100% student led, student run program. There are no adults writing, holding the cameras, or deciding on the shots. The ultimate goal is for our students to become self-directed learners, while finding their voices, and creating social emotional empowerment. In our project based learning, the films are not the project, the students themselves are.
students we currently work with this academic school year
student films produced to date
hours of instruction a year per class
of schools we work with are Title I
classroom teachers we currently collaborate with around the state of California
professional filmmakers that serve as Youth Cinema Project mentors
school districts we currently work with
committed industry partners
years of continuous curriculum and program development
full-ride scholarships to Chapman University for Santa Ana Unified students
paid creative/production fellowships to work at mitú
Superintendents that created Film Pathways at their districts around our program
paid internships available to graduating YCP students into Sony
consecutive years of improving school engagement and literacy rates at the lowest achieving schools around the state
Los Angeles Commendation given to us by Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis
Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project is always looking for passionate filmmakers to get involved, funding to support the growth of our program, and industry partnerships to enhance student impact.