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The Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program offers Baltimore City residents ages 16 to 29 the opportunity to learn
camera skills, refine storytelling techniques, and create films and photographs to be shared at public screenings
and exhibits, and on the program website.  Participants are paid stipends for their contributions
and receive certificates for successful completion.

    Our mission is to build an online archive of Baltimore voices; a representation of our city, current and historical, real and imagined.  Be part of the project.  We want to hear from you!

             Baltimore Youth Film Arts is an affiliate program of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and is made possible by the financial support of Johns Hopkins and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


A very open environment, encouraging.

I love the variety of ages.

FALL 2019


Open to Ages 16-29 
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 9-1, Green Street Academy, 125 N. Hilton Street (map)

In this journalism workshop, student fellows will explore the possibilities of video and photojournalism to tell the stories of their city.  Social networking platforms like Instagram and Twitter have overtaken traditional media in the coverage of breaking news, and video news packages have become the norm online.  In line with this trend, fellows will continue to develop “Dateline Baltimore,” a virtual visual news journal that captures the pulse of Baltimore.  Fellows will learn the news coverage process from identifying news and feature stories, to research and interviews, to the fundamentals of video production and editing and captioned photo reportage to inform with purpose.  Working together and with instructors--themselves professional broadcast journalists--as an editorial team, they'll decide which stories to pursue and how to shape them for maximum impact, all while adhering 100% to facts in their reporting.  Work will appear weekly on a dedicated Instagram feed, and complete portfolios for each fellow will be featured on the program website at the workshop's conclusion. Selected pieces will also be shared at a public exhibition. Limited to 12 student fellows.

Terrence Nelson is the managing broadcast producer for the ESPN & Special Olympics broadcast and production partnership. The Morgan State University graduate has worked on projects with major media outlets, such as TV One, CNN, NY Daily News, Netflix, NBC and MTV. 

Stan Saunders is a retired broadcaster for WJZ-TV Baltimore.  He mentors youth in the Baltimore City Public Schools through his nonprofit program, Baltimore Academy of Sports & Entertainment (B.A.S.E.).  He also creates community-impact documentaries, leveraging his more than thirty years telling Baltimore stories. 

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 9-1, Langston Hughes Community, Business, and Resource Center, 5011 Arbutus
Avenue (map)

In this videography workshop, student fellows and instructors will collaborate with Baltimore City police officers to create short, engaging instructional videos about a range of city, state, and federal laws.  Fellows will ask and address a number of questions: What are the laws? What are citizens’ rights? How does law enforcement look from the citizen’s point of view and how does it look from the police officer’s point of view?  They’ll consider how direct and observed experience can impact perceptions, interviewing community members as well as police officers, and bringing their own experiences to bear where appropriate.  As they learn, fellows will explore different methods for sharing their discoveries with an audience, including through voiceover, interviews, and dramatized scenarios.  They’ll work together as crew, behind and in front of the camera, mastering the basics of video and audio recording, including editing.  Their films will be shared on YouTube, at a public screening, and on the program website.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Jamal Evans teaches in the Interactive Media Production program at Edmondson-Westside High School.  For over fifteen years, he has inspired students to enter the world of media production.  He also has a passion for social media and does freelance photography and video throughout the Baltimore region and beyond.   

Essence Smith is Coordinator at the Harambee Center.  She has a passion for empowering today’s youth through education and leadership development.  Essence believes you should be the change you want to see.

Matthew Henry is a police officer with the Baltimore Police Department.  He currently serves with the Northern District's Neighborhood Coordination Office.  He has joined the "Learn it, Shoot it, Share it: The Law" workshop with the hopes of shedding light on some ambiguous legal topics and encouraging participants to look upon police officers as a resource.   

Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 9-1, Johns Hopkins Homewood, Brody Learning Commons 4040 (map)

This workshop will offer a crash course in web series production.  Student fellows should come to the first meeting with preliminary ideas in hand.  Each will have opportunity to refine their concept and build a solid framework called a “story bible,” including character descriptions, plot summary for a pilot episode, and ideas for additional episodes.  Plans for individual projects in place, fellows will decide on a single, collaborative project, and work together with instructors as a team to develop, write, and shoot a short pilot.  The workshop will explore the creative choices that go into story design; character development; location scouting; casting; directing; visual composition, including camera work and lighting; sound design; and post-production, including editing.  Fellows will fill a range of roles that mirror those found on a professional, low-budget film set, and they’ll gain an understanding of how to overcome and even thrive amid the technical challenges of "indie" production.  The collaborative pilot will be shown at a public screening and on the program website.  Limited to 9 student fellows.

Marc Unger is a nationally known actor/writer/comedian. His work has been featured on network television and in theaters and film festivals in both New York and Los Angeles. He has shared the stage and screen with artists Stephen Adly Guirgis, John Hawkes, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He is co-creator of and stars in the Amazon Prime series Thespian.

Maria Unger is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Education. As the producer and co-creator of the Amazon Prime series Thespian, she performs various roles both on set and behind the scenes, including video editing, project planning, script supervision, pre- and post-production operations, and contract management.

Katherine Paul is a Johns Hopkins University Film and Media Studies senior. With a background in fine arts and digital media, she aspires to further pursue her creativities and broaden and deepen her established expertise. 

Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 28-November 9, 10-2, Youth Opportunity YO! Baltimore, 1212 N. Wolfe Street (map)

In this activist art workshop, student fellows will create a street-level campaign for peace, featuring the voices and faces of Baltimoreans impacted by and fighting against street violence. They’ll interview mediators, community leaders, and ordinary citizens, and share their messages and stories with the public through posters and QR code-accessible videos.  They’ll consider how to reach and connect diverse audiences in diverse neighborhoods, raising awareness, stirring discussion, asking citizens of all ages and backgrounds to stop and think, and to work toward solutions.  They’ll learn videography, audio recording, correct interview protocols, and poster design.  Content for the campaign will appear throughout the city and on YouTube over the arc of the workshop, and will also be represented on the program website and at a public exhibition.  Limited to 10 student fellows.

Charles Cohen's recent documentary films include Riding Wild, which follows a group of BMXers into Baltimore's urban wilderness, and The Crooked Tune, an Old Time Fiddler in a Modern World.  He holds an MFA in Film and Digital Media from American University and has written for The New York TimesThe Christian Science MonitorThe Washington Post, and Baltimore City Paper

Darian Jones recently received his associate's degree in Digital Media Production from the Community College of Baltimore County.  He is interested in documenting unique and authentic stories, and he hopes to give back by teaching others. 

Myron Higgins, “Sun of Baltimore,” is a musician and filmmaker.  His short documentary LEAD BABY -- #GlowUp won the Judges’ Award for Nonfiction Film in the 2018 Born in Baltimore Film & Photography Festival. 

Carlissia Young is the CEO of Midg3t Productionz “Little in Person Big in Video,” specializing in video editing and documentaries.  She is also the Youth Whisperer of Baltimore where she teaches the youth Life Lessons behind the Lens. 

Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 1:30-5:30, JHU-MICA Film Centre (map)

In this experimental photography workshop, student fellows will learn to view the world, themselves, and each other in imaginative and unconventional ways. The idea of defamiliarization, that is taking the familiar and rendering it as strange, has been argued to be the central point of art. Through techniques such as slow shutter speeds, multiple exposure, and the use of plastic and macro lenses, fellows will have an opportunity to push their perception and challenge the viewer with new interpretations of their environment. The workshop will review the basic fundamentals of photography before moving into new techniques and how to apply them. Participants will be encouraged to think closely about what they are making photos of and how they can present a deeper or alternative meaning with their images. Each fellow will create a portfolio and write an artist's statement reflecting on their work.  Photographs with statements will be shared at a public exhibition in a West Baltimore gallery space and be collected in a photo book.  They'll also be shared at a program exhibition and on the program website.  Limited to 10 student fellows.

André Chung is an award-winning photojournalist and portrait photographer.  He has created images for a wide range of publications, and was one of a select group of photojournalists chosen in 2009 and 2013 to work on Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book.  His photographs are part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Connor Wall is an international studies and public health double major at Johns Hopkins with an interest in design and animation. He hopes to practice medicine and shoot films abroad while immersing himself in new cultures.

Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 1:30-5:30, Johns Hopkins Homewood, Hodson Hall 216 (map) and field trip locations

In this exhibition design workshop, student fellows will explore a range of possibilities for exhibiting their own and others’ photographic art.  They’ll consider both virtual and actual venues, from social media platforms and websites to traditional and nontraditional galleries to pop-up spaces.  They’ll consider how work can be contextualized and recontextualized by its relation to an exhibition space and to other works; and they’ll consider the relationship of artist to subject, audience to art, and of both art content and audience to a given exhibition space.  They’ll also consider how they might expand and diversify their own audiences, consciously developing opportunities for contributing to and influencing the culture.  The workshop will address the logistics of exhibition from basic website design to printing and framing for display.  Each fellow will identify a potential physical space in Baltimore for an exhibition of their work; have opportunity to design an individual website; and contribute to a group pop-up installation.  Work from the pop-up will be shared on the program website and at a program exhibition.  Some time will be devoted to creating new images, but fellows should also have existing portfolios, whether created on their own, in BYFA workshops, or in other educational settings.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Chrissy Fitchett, a graduate of MICA, is a practicing photographer and Associate Director for Baltimore Youth Film Arts.  Her work examines family structure, generational knowledge, and issues of political and social marginalization, such as forced migration and gender inequity.

Quinn Tyler Wise, "Dallas," is a freelance photographer, baker, avid DIYer, and doll-maker. His goal is to work for National Geographic and travel the world, but until that day, he'll stick with doing what he loves to do: using his artistic abilities to capture memories and bring awareness to major issues in the local community.

Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled) 
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 9-1, JHU-MICA Film Centre (map)

In this documentary filmmaking workshop student fellows will work as a production team to create a pair of short films on motherhood and fatherhood in Baltimore. They’ll consider traditional and nontraditional models, and parenting through multiple generations; exploring nurture, inspiration, friendship, and also loss, absence, separation. They’ll collect stories from individuals and families in the community and interview professionals who work in family counseling. And they’ll bring their own experiences to bear according to their preference. They’ll learn storytelling techniques, correct interview protocols, and the basics of video and audio recording, including editing.  A rough cut of each film will be completed, and a winter 2020 post-production workshop will take films to the final cut. Excerpts from the fall rough cuts will be shared at a public screening and on the program website.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Jim Mahjoubian, Video Production Coordinator for the Baltimore City Public Schools, believes any young person with an interest in film should be given an opportunity to explore and find their voice. In fifteen years of production and education he's helped many former students move into the industry with passion and integrity.

Olugbenga Osikomaiya, a Morgan State University graduate, is a freelance cinematographer and photographer who focuses on creating compelling images that also tell a story.  

Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 21-November 2, 10-2, Morgan State University, Holmes Hall (map)

This fiction filmmaking workshop will build on the summer workshop Story to Script: The Short Screenplay. Student fellows will work together and with instructors as a team to produce two short fiction films. They'll gain experience with all aspects of production, from casting and location scouting to storyboarding and shooting, filling roles of producer, director, actor, cinematographer, camera operator, gaffer, DIT, boom operator, and sound mixer.  The workshop will result in a rough cut of each project. A short workshop in winter of 2020 will focus on post-production and end in polished films. Excerpts of fall rough cuts will be shared at a public screening and on the program website. Limited to 12 student fellows.

Keith Mehlinger is Director of the Digital Media Center and of the Screenwriting and Animation program (SWAN) at Morgan State University. A producer/writer/director, he produced episodes of the syndicated series, Story of a People, and recently completed a short documentary about parents of sons lost to street violence for the Morgan multimedia project, Mother's Lament.

David Warfield teaches filmmaking and screenwriting at Morgan State University. He has been an AFI Fellow, an advisor to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in Prague, and a V.P. of Production at Propaganda Films in Hollywood. He has sold scripts to and done assignment work for Warner Brothers, MGM, Sony, and ABC. His films include Linewatch (Sony Pictures, 2008) and the independent feature Rows (2015).

Kyle Yearwood is an assistant in Morgan State University’s Screenwriting and Animation program, with proficiency in cinematography, editing, photography, special effects, and animation.  He has worked as a videographer for the Baltimore MTA, interned for HBO’s Show Me a Hero, and currently freelances in visual production.

David Lee Roberts Jr., an award-winning television producer and documentary filmmaker, is Adjunct Professor in the Screenwriting and Animation (SWAN) program at Morgan State University.  Television credits include Metro Focus, and film credits include the upcoming features Covenant of Peace, about the Washington, D.C. juvenile justice system, and Charm City, about Baltimore community reform and engagement.

Alfonzer Harvin is a graduate of the Screenwriting and Animation program (SWAN) at Morgan State University. He has created animations for Comcast and for the Baltimore Parking Authority, and is skilled in all phases of production.  He believes knowledge is all we need to change the world.