Film Training & Mentorship for Youth


This workshop series aims at providing participants with basic knowledge of the cinematic art and the necessary skills for filmmaking practice. The selected participants will receive 9 months of training, culminating in the production of their individual short films, which will be screened at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival February 28-March 3, 2024.

The course structure combines film theory and practice through assigned readings, screenings, and hands-on exercises that seek to equip participants with both the theoretical and technical fundamentals needed for executing their film projects.  In addition to selected topics from film history, 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, and documentary films.


The 18 mm Program will accept 8 students who must be enrolled in a Kingston-based high school or be 18 years old and under at the time of application. Classes will take place in the Broom Factory. The outcome will be the production of 8 shorts, each of which will be directed by one 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.

The course director 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, along with small cash grants to contribute to the costs of production.


April – May 2023
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.

May- June 2023
Participants are expected to work on their own shooting scripts and deliver them to the course director for production approval.

June – September 2023
Participants will work on the production of their films. (Remote mentorship will be provided)

September-November 2023
Post-production and delivery of the final films to the festival before KCFF’s submission deadline.

Hybrid mentorship will be provided to participants throughout the process.

March 2024
The films will be premiered in KCFF’s official program followed by a conversation with their filmmakers. Participants will receive their certificates of completion.


1) The call is open to applicants who are enrolled in high school or are 18-year-old 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 12 essential training classes over the weekends of April and May 2023.

3) The applicant must commit to make 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) The applicant must submit a complete application through the designated link.

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

6) 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, partners…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. Reference letters are not mandatory.

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

Thank you to Kingston Film and Media and the Department of Film & Media at Queen’s University for their generous support of the 18 MM Program.