Youth Film Camp Promotes Economic Development
Windsor, ON, Tuesday, June 1, 2016. Film Camp for Kids & Youth is doing its share to contribute to local economic development.
Besides growing filmmakers, and generating interest in local university and college film programs, the Film Camp for Kids & Youth will be hiring seven post-secondary film students this summer, thanks to a grant from Canada Summer Jobs. In addition to university students, several local young film professionals, i.e. recent graduates, will be hired as Camp Instructors to lead film production teams, which is a great way for aspiring filmmakers to boost their resumes while also learning through teaching and mentoring others. Libro Credit Union gave the camp a grant through the Libro Prosperity Fund in 2015 and 2016 to help with the camp’s rapidly growing need for film equipment.
Another surprising economic benefit of the camp is that it is promoting the region as a unique and cost effective hub for filmmaking. The program teaches about discipline and teamwork to meet tight deadlines, while also introducing participants to the community through a new lens. Film Production Teams make 20 shorts each summer utilizing spaces and parks that most participants have never visited before. “With tax credits better in Essex than in the GTA, the camp supports the notion that Windsor-Detroit is an unknown and unrecognized, but growing, paradise for artists, actors and filmmakers,” says Amanda Gellman, founder of the camp and local business consultant.
“Besides being quite fun, Film Camp for Kids & Youth is about education and economic development. Local filmmakers are looking for crew members with experience, the university and college recruiters need interested applicants, and student filmmakers are seeking new opportunities for learning and paid job experience. The program contributes to all of this and more. We also help to promote a free public arts and talent database site where anyone interested in working in any aspect the film industry can register – www.talentdatabase.org.”
The camp, located at 716 Pelissier, operates out of a 2,800 sf renovated space in downtown Windsor. Attracting 20 participants in 2013 pilot project, the camp enrolled close to 200 youth last year - 123 in summer and an additional 60 in Fall and March Break programs. Changing lives and growing talent, sponsors are still needed for bursaries for low-income youth ages 9-21 years to experience the program in summer 2016.
This July and August 2016, the film camp is expecting to expand once again – thus, the reason for the increased number of jobs.
Summer 2016 Dates for Filmmaking Classes
Ages 9 to 11 years – July 4-8 and 11-15
Ages 12 to 14 years – August 1-5 and 8-12
Ages 15-17 years – August 15-18 and 22-26
Ages 18-21 years – August 18-21
Gellman adds, “Our camp builds interest in all aspects of filmmaking, introduces campers to local filmmakers, creates jobs and more. We serve all ages and 40% of participants are from Essex County. The program is great opportunity to hone skills and test interests. Filmmaking, writing, digital marketing and photography classes will be offered this summer for youth.”
The non-profit host for the camp is new Centre for Film, Digital Media & the Creative Arts, a collective of arts and film professional working to open a 28,000 sf centre in downtown Windsor. The goal of the non-profit centre is to create jobs and help to build the film industry in Windsor-Essex.