KIPP Student Filmmakers in New York

Imagine an English class about pictures. A creative writing course about visual storytelling. A music course about soundscapes. This is the Cinema and Media Studies course my students helped create two years ago. My budding artists and writers have been seeking new expression and now they own it.

My students attend a challenging, college preparatory school in the heart of Silicon Valley, but overwhelmingly lack the wealth the surrounding companies have.
Despite being the in the top 10 schools in California according to US News and World Report, around 70% of my students will be the first in their families to attend college and over 75% of the student body qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. My students have dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, chemists, artists, and entrepreneurs. Recently they have been advocating for courses to help them develop their creative arts. They founded a theater club, and, two years ago, they began a Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS) course with my help. They crave an outlet for their thoughts, ideas, and stories, stories not being told in the art around them.

The CAMS course allows students to explore their artistic and narrative interests through film studies and filmmaking. The first three quarters of the year are devoted to media history and analysis. The last quarter is a nine week project in which students write, produce, and submit a film to the All American High School Film Festival in New York. This is the worlds largest student film festival, with nearly 2000 submissions from over 40 countries. This summer, one of the student films made last year was selected for competition at the festival!

This is a huge accomplishment, and my students deserve the opportunity to attend the festival to share their work, network with film professionals, and connect with college programs and scholarships in the arts. My goal is to send two students to the festival.

The costs are steep. Airfare from California alone is expensive.

With two students plus a chaperone, the costs break down as such:
$1285.20 for airfare.
$850.00 for the festival passes
$1000.00 for hotels
$194.80 for travel expenses and meals

We have two helpful donations totaling $1450. That brings the total we need to $1880.

My students would greatly appreciate this opportunity. But we need to raise money quickly. The festival is October 6-8. If we don't hurry, we will lose spots.

Help make a difference in a young filmmaker's life! Please donate today!
  • Lauren Hamilton
    • $20 
    • 63 mos
  • Dacia Mitchell
    • $45 
    • 63 mos
  • Brian Markwalter
    • $100 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $40 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 63 mos
See all


Kyle Samuel
San Jose, CA
Kipp Bay Area Schools
Registered nonprofit
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