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Educational Programs

Program Location

Virtual and In-Person in Little Rock, AR

Educational Program

The Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls


2021 Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls

In partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas - Girls of Promise Initiative and JM Associates, the Arkansas Cinema Society presents the Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls.

This lab is for high school girls who dream of following in the footsteps of Regina King, Cholé Zhao, Ruth Carter, Kathryn Bigelow, BERT&BERTIE, Reed Morano, and other female directors, cinematographers, costume designers, editors, and screenwriters.

This lab will provide an opportunity for high-school girls between the ages of 16-18 to experience all aspects of the filmmaking process, from screenwriting to production to editing. No prior filmmaking experience is necessary and the lab is FREE.

Guided by seasoned filmmakers the participants will develop a 3-5 minute short film with an emphasis on women’s empowerment and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) throughout the eight-week program. The finished short films will premiere during ACS’s annual FILMLAND festival.

Application Process:
Phase 1: Complete the form in the link above and answer the three essay questions.
Phase 2: Applicants who are selected to move onto phase 2 and have been chosen for an interview will be notified via email.
Phase 3: Selected participants will be notified via email and within ONE WEEK must confirm attendance and that you can attend all lab dates.

Class Dates:  July 6 - August 6, 2021

Location of Classes: Virtual & In-Person in Little Rock, AR

Application Closing Date: March 31, 2021

From the 2019 Lab:

With the help of our generous sponsors, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas-Girls of Promise Initiative, the Wellness and Vision Trust and JM Associates, the ACS was able to launch our first Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls in 2019. The lab is for high school junior girls who dream of following in the footsteps of female directors, cinematographers, costume designers, editors and screenwriters.

Twelve 16-18 year old girls from 11 different high schools in central Arkansas were selected to participate in the 2019 program through an essay application process.

This free lab is held twice a week for two to four hours at a time for eight weeks at JM Associates, and the girls are mentored by professionals through each stage of the filmmaking process. The girls begin by developing look books and pitching their individual, original story ideas focused on women’s empowerment and STEAM to the group. They vote on the pitches and two ideas are chosen to develop into screenplays.

Next, they were divided into two teams and assigned crew roles based on their skills and interests.

“These girls learned all the different roles, a coed crew might have made that more difficult, with boys leaning toward jobs like grip — maintaining and making rigs for camera support — and girls gravitating to hair and makeup artist jobs or producing. “I’m trying to encourage girls to consider all the possibilities in a non-gendered situation. Arkansas has developed a talent pool for film and TV, Tucker says, and these girls can now be included. “There is a thriving film community here. That’s part of our mission, to give a venue and a voice to new filmmakers. That’s why the girls’ short films will be screened at our festival, FILMLAND, so they will be in the same room with other Arkansas filmmakers. That’s where it all begins.”
—  Kathryn Tucker from the Film Lab Feature, Style Section, Arkansas Democrat Gazette
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