The HCCI/Tribeca Teen Filmmaker Bootcamp

Launched This Year In Collaboration with the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)

As part of TFI’s Tribeca Teaches initiative, HCCI’s teen film program works directly with high school students, ages 14-18, helping them gain invaluable hands-on industry experience in a highly collaborative setting.

This immersive professional experience provides insight on what it’s like to work in the film industry, and helps students acquire media literacy and technological fluency; use filmmaking processes for personal expression and to investigate community dynamics; experience the discipline, rigor, and interpersonal teamwork needed for academic and professional success; and build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment through project completion.

“The program will empower our youth to become conscious, critical consumers of media, who might even become filmmakers themselves,” said Moikgantsi Kgama, communications director at HCCI. “Our hope is to help create the next Ryan Coogler or Ava DuVernay, right here in Harlem.” Amber, 14, is currently taking part in the group film project, Visions of Amber, which tackles the issue of gun violence head-on. She said, “In the beginning of our movie, it starts off with Amber dying at a mass shooting at a school. We really wanted to affect young people so they can realize the seriousness of gun violence in our very own country.”

Jidobi, 17, the director of Visions of Amber, credits this program for giving focus and an overall better outlook on his life. “The more involved I am in the program, the more passion I have for this profession. Now, I will literally do anything in my power to get to where I want to go.” Although his mom is a filmmaker, Jidobi’s love for filmmaking came out of taking part in the afterschool program. His immediate goal is to attend NYU to study film.

Jidobi also said the program helped improve his writing skills “Growing up, I was never really a good writer. So this is a good place to really learn and get better at that.” HCCI’s bootcamp is the only Tribeca Teaches program in Central Harlem. However, the program serves more than 25,000 students across all five boroughs and has worked with more than 40 elementary, middle, and high schools as well as informal learning and community centers.

“Our Teen Filmmaker Bootcamp will result in youth developed, produced, and directed short films, which will be featured at a Tribeca Film Festival in NYC,” said Malcolm Punter, president & CEO of HCCI. “The youth were very excited to be afforded this opportunity and HCCI is honored to make this experience possible for the Harlem youth we serve.”