ESSAY TO FILM: PERSONAL STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT
Summer 2017, Johns Hopkins Homewood
In this digital documentary workshop, essayists from Baltimore City College High School will transform their submissions to the 2017 Baldwin Prize competition into short films. From story meetings to on-location shooting to the final edit, they’ll see their personal stories through from word into image. They’ll combine new and archival footage, including cell phone footage, and new and archival sound, including interviews and voice over excerpts from their writing, to create short, individual works reflecting and reimagining their original essays. The competition, named after the writer and humanitarian James Baldwin, and founded by City College and Johns Hopkins alum Lionel Foster, asks students “to investigate some element of their intellectual and emotional life and reflect on what this personal truth says about the way we should all treat each other.” The 2017 theme was empowerment. Essay to Film will take a guerilla filmmaking approach with an intense, concentrated schedule, requiring all student fellows to be present and fully engaged with the task at hand. They’ll work together as “crew” on each other’s films and be introduced to all aspects of video production. Each fellow will produce a short film (2-4 minutes) based on her/his original essay. Films will be shared at a public screening and on the program website. Lunch will be included, but fellows should bring drinks and snacks. Limited to 12 student fellows.
Essay to Film is a co-production of Baltimore Youth Film Arts and The Baldwin Prize.
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.
Stan Saunders is a retired broadcaster for WJZ-TV Baltimore. He mentors youth in the Baltimore City Public Schools through his nonprofit program, Baltimore Area Sports and Entertainment (B.A.S.E.). He also creates community-impact documentaries, leveraging his more than thirty years telling Baltimore stories.