Gateway to the Industry of Film and Television (GIFT)
ValleyArts and Cinema Ed are now partnering to create a brick and mortar film education program that will provide youth in Orange and surrounding areas a place to meet, take classes, work with professional mentors, create films, and make connections that lead to further educational and job opportunities in the film and television industry. This filmmaking hub will be located in the ValleyArts space, which is part of the Kelli Copeland Artists Co-op, a mixed-use former industrial building with affordable artist live/work units.
Here the youth of Orange, Newark and neighboring towns will be able to learn the trade skills of filmmaking and storytelling as well as a focus on community news: Youth on the Beat. With guidance from industry mentors and using equipment from our program, they will learn not only how to make narrative and documentary films, but also learn the basics of news broadcast journalism. GIFT is an expansion of the very successful FilmBoot24 Weekend Filmmaking Bootcamp and Screening that has been run in collaboration with ValleyArts, Cinema Ed, Orange School District and Drew University since 2017.
Over the past four years, students have worked with mentors on select weekends at Drew University to create films in just 24 hours, which were then judged by industry professionals and shown at a public red carpet screening in Orange, NJ. The impact on the community has been powerful. These mentor-driven weekend filmmaking bootcamps, which are designed to keep students directly engaged in school and their studies, have inspired students to find work on local films as production assistants, and Orange students have themselves become mentors.
Our goal now is to create a space that will provide equipment and allow the youth of Orange and neighboring towns to come together with professional mentors on a weekly, even daily basis, to learn the craft of storytelling and increase their chances of finding work in an industry that is expanding by leaps and bounds in the Tri-state area. Stay tuned for more info as we put this project together!