Film Training & Mentorship for Youth

This course and workshop series aims at providing participants with basic knowledge of the cinematic art and the necessary skills for filmmaking practice. Selected participants will receive 9 months of training, culminating in the production of their short films which will be screened at KCFF25!

Huge thanks to our 18 MM co-presenter Tourism Kingston Film & Media. And to our additional 18 MM supporters the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation and the Queen’s University Department of Film and Media.

The course structure combines film theory and practice through assigned readings, screenings, and hands-on exercises to equip participants with both the theoretical and technical fundamentals needed for executing their projects. In addition to selected topics from film theory and criticism, participants will learn screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and video-editing in a series of practical assignments and in-class discussions that will guide them through the filmmaking process from development to post-production. The course is designed to accommodate all potential projects including fiction, experimental, documentary, and hybrid films.

The 18 MM Program 2024-2025 will accept 10 students who must be either enrolled in a high school or be 18 years old and under at the time of application. Students must also be residents of the Kingston area. Classes will mostly take place in the Broom Factory in Kingston. The outcome will be the production of 10 short films, each of which will be directed by one or more of the students; however, each student is required to work with the rest of the participants on their respective projects in a non-directorial capacity.

In addition to learning the principal theoretical, conceptual, and technical skills of filmmaking, students will earn practical experience working in teams and collaborating with each other in a healthy, inclusive environment that encourages innovation and collective work. They will eventually be prepared to apply for film programs at the university level, join professional film sets in entry positions, or continue to make their independent films on their own. Successful participants will receive certificates acknowledging their completion of the program and will celebrate their achievements on the red carpet before their films premiere at KCFF 2025.

The course director and lead instructor is KCFF’s programmer and filmmaker Ahmed Ismaiel Nour. Nour will occasionally invite guest speakers and practitioners to share their experience and valuable tips with students.

The program is entirely funded by KCFF and its partners. No fees are required from students. Moreover, the program will provide students with the basic gear to film their projects!

May – June 2024

Participants are required to attend 12 classes (total of 36 hours) that will vary between theory, hands-on practice, screenings, film analysis, and group discussions. All classes will be held on weekends.

July 2024

Participants are expected to work on their own shooting scripts and deliver them to the course director for production approval. Mentorship and one-to-one meetings will be provided as well as two group sessions to present and discuss the scripts.

August 2024

Participants will work on the production of their films. (Mentorship will be provided)

September-November 2024

Students will receive lectures on post-production. They will work on the post production of their projects and will present their work-in-progress in class and receive feedback. Additionally, mentorship and one-to-one meetings with the program director will be provided.

March 2025

Students’ films will be premiered as part of KCFF’s official program followed by a conversation with their filmmakers. Participants will receive their certificates of completion and take photos on the red carpet!

1) The call is open to applicants who are enrolled in high school or are 18-years and younger at the time of application. Applicants do not need to be Kingston-based, but in-person attendance is necessary, so travel will be required for those not living in Kingston. Applications from other groups won’t be considered for this particular program.

2) The applicant must be willing to attend the in-person essential training classes over some weekends between May and November 2024.

3) The applicant must commit to (make or participate in making) a final project (short film) over the course of the summer and deliver the final version to KCFF on or before December 1st 2023.

4) No prior film experience or education is required, but might be valued.

5) Applicants are encouraged to attach reference letters to their applications. Unlike what is usually requested, we ask that letters come from people who are biased—family, close friends, teachers…etc. Informal and funny tones are welcome! Recommendation letters can be in the form of written words or videos that feature referees speak about the applicant, not necessarily highlighting film related skills, but anything that helps us know more about the applicant; what their interests are and what makes them the right person for this opportunity. 

6) Applicants who had their films screened at KCFF’s Youth Shorts Program before are EXEMPT from submitting reference letters with their applications.

7) Applicants must provide a short synopsis (100-200 words) for the project they wish to make as part of the program. Fiction, experimental, documentary, and hybrid films are accepted. Applicants may change their minds and decide to pursue other projects during the program. This is totally acceptable, and, in fact, has positive indications.

8) The applicant must submit a complete application through the designated link.

Applications for the 2024 program are now closed.