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10 Film Internships + Summer Programs for High School Students

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Creative teens with a passion for storytelling may just find their niche in the exciting world of film. There are plenty of opportunities in this industry, from producing to editing to directing to technical work. 


Curious about whether filmmaking is the path for you? Through these programs and internships geared toward high school students, you can find out.


10 Film Internships for High School Students


1. BCAPteen


The Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program allows youth to build creative and professional skills through photography and film. Participants explore arts, nature, culture, and community through these media, all while engaging with their peers. Through the program, students earn volunteer credit hours and a stipend.


NB: BCAP is paused in summer 2021.


2. Brooklyn Interns for Arts & Culture


BIAC encourages students to prepare for college, careers, and life while supporting their community. Students participate in creative workshops, college readiness courses, and professional development sessions during this year-long paid internship offered via the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where they will learn about the inner workings of one of the most renowned theaters and performing arts venues in New York.


3. Fresh Films


At Fresh Films, students have the opportunity to take part in a 30-week filmmaking program, where they will learn about documentary and narrative production. The program is available at 20 locations across the country, and students will work on various projects — music videos, movie trailers, and more — as they build their portfolios. 


4. New York Film Academy Teen Filmmaking Camps


Through NYFA summer film camps, students will write, shoot, direct, and edit their own films. Students receive in-class instruction and take part in on-set production, learning all about the exciting world of storytelling through film. The programs culminate in a screening of the participants’ work.


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5. SOCAPA Summer Film Camps for Teens


Offered in New York, Los Angeles, and Vermont, SOCAPA “mixes the best of elite film programs and exciting summer camps.” There are six filmmaking intensives available for students ages 13-18, through which students craft their own films and work collaboratively with other participants.


6. Tisch Future Filmmakers Workshop


Via the famed NYU Tisch School of Arts, teenagers can take advantage of a free, 14-week program where they will hone their “personal vision and voice.” Storytelling is emphasized, as are technical skills. Participants will also get hands-on experience and have discussions with professional filmmakers and Tisch faculty. The workshop is open to those who feel underrepresented in the film industry. 


7. Tisch Summer High School Filmmakers Workshop


Tisch also offers a filmmaking workshop for high schoolers focused on directing, shooting, and editing. Participants will produce a music video and short film over the course of four weeks, all while learning how to use a professional digital camera and sound equipment, in a program that mirrors an undergraduate degree program. 


8. UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute


UCLA is known for its film programs, and now, high school students can take advantage of their renowned education, too. In the two-week, intensive workshop, students learn about the art of cinematic storytelling and create their own film projects, working both independently and collaboratively. They will also observe lectures featuring guest speakers.


9. USC Cinematic Arts Summer Program


The oldest film school in the U.S. encourages high school students to learn about the world of filmmaking, screenwriting, computer animation, or the film/television business through these six-week sessions. Students take real college-level courses and may have the opportunity to earn college credit.


10. Warner Bros. Reach Honorships


Warner Bros. awards “Honorships,” a combination of internships and scholarships, to graduating seniors with an interest in the entertainment industry. The Honorships are available to students in specific locations or focus on various film and media niches, and recipients receive a monetary scholarship, along with mentorship and other opportunities, allowing them to cultivate their skills.


How Much Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


Film programs and internships, in conjunction with other activities, can enhance your extracurricular profile. The more selective the program, the more impressive it will be on your application. In fact, colleges actually use a tier system to evaluate extracurriculars, with Tier 1 representing the rarest accomplishments, and Tier 4 representing the most common. A paid summer program is a Tier 4 activity, while a selective internship or program may be Tier 2-3 (if it’s of national prestige, it would be of Tier 1). 


Wondering how your activities affect your chances of admission to top schools? Using CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator, you’ll learn your real odds of admission to colleges and universities based on factors like GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars. Plus, you’ll receive concrete tips on how to improve your profile.

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.