Roll camera! We’re gearing up for a fun-filled summer of young filmmakers in action! This summer marks our 13th year collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Taller Puertorriqueno & Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter High School for the Delphi Summer Teen Media program! 18 high school students from around the City will engage in an exciting 6 week exploration of art, media,culture and community in the Delphi Summer Teen Media program. This year’s theme is “Roots and Representations” and we are looking forward to the student-produced short films inspired by this theme. Delphi Summer Teen Media is by application only and all spots are filled. Our second camp site, the REELFilm Summer Experience at Arise Academy Charter High School takes place July 2-August 10 where 18-20 students will create their own personal films from 1-3 minutes in length as well as work ‘script to screen’ on group produced films. This camp also filled.
NEW! Minicamp! We recently added a third mini-camp, REELFilm Summer at Arcadia which runs July 9 through 20th, MON-FRI 10am-3pm on the Arcadia University campus in Stiteler/Murphy Hall — spots still available if you’d like to participate in this exciting 2 weeks of filmmaking FUN!
For a registration form and information flier for REELFilm at Arcadia, email firstname.lastname@example.org Register TODAY!
An earthquake, a hurricane and a tornado couldn’t stop Big Picture Alliance from having its most exciting summer yet!
BPA kicked off the season with “Film Jam 2011”, a FREE citywide screening highlighting BPA student work from the many communities BPA served throughout the 2010-2011 year both all around Philly as well as in Camden, NJ. Students from all BPA learning communities converged to share their work with the public. The event was held at the Asian Arts Initiative on Vine Street in Center City where the gallery and theatre space was bursting at the seams with BPA young media makers, friends and family.
The evening began with refreshments in the gallery where attendees enjoyed summer-favorites such as Rita’s Water Ice and an assortment of Philadelphia Pretzel Factory pretzels. The screening itself featured over 15 student-produced films with genres ranging from public service announcements to short feature films, including MiND TV Philadelphia Stories 8 winner “The Jerk”.
To date, BPA students have created over 520 films, many of which have garnered awards at nationally recognized film festivals like the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. BPA media-instructors have mentored more than 5,300 students throughout Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester and Camden Counties. “Film Jam” was a vibrant portrait of this impact that will eventually be shared with an even broader community, travelling to various communities around the City and to Camden, NJ.
BPA implemented our newest curriculum, The REEL Film Experience, to two programs sites: The Philadelphia Center For Arts and Technology (PCAT) and the Asian Arts Initiative (AAI). Most impressive was the extensive breadth and depth of the curriculum where students were able to develop their technical film skills with added media-literacy and community-awareness components.
At PCAT, 16 students gathered for six hours a day, five days per week, to begin their short documentary about the Mt. Airy community in North-West Philadelphia. They interviewed key Mt. Airyans such as Community Activist Susan Cook, as well as other leaders in the greater Philadelphia area including Ms. Patty Jackson from WDAS-FM. Additionally, BPA Media-Instructor Nuala Cabral introduced the students to blogging and created an official “REEL Film” blog through BPA’s website. This allowed students to blog daily about their real experiences in the program through articles, poems (link), lyrics and video-highlights (link: http://reelfilmexperience.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/week-two-exploring-media-representations-of-gender/).
“The REEL Film Experience Program is awesome,” blogged Michael Adkins, “it allows us to speak our true feelings about main important topics and they help build our intellects.”
The REEL Film Experience at Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) was led by BPA Media-Instructor Walker Zavareei who worked closely with AAI staff to incorporate their focus on immigration into the lesson plans. Students honed their video skills (script-writing, acting, directing, sound & camera work and editing) while learning about the many issues that face Asian-American immigrants. One of the final student-group films, DeportASIAN, creatively focused on deportation as they told the story of an Asian man facing deportation based on a minor charge from his teenage years.
In addition to PCAT and AAI, BPA celebrated its 11th year of collaboration and long-time partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter High School and Taller Puertorriqueno in bringing the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program to a new cohort of young media makers. 18 students gathered for six hours, five days per week, to learn lessons about media literacy interlaced with lessons in production. From Baked To The Past, a film about maintaining traditional values in an untraditional era to the thriller-suspense Divided Loyalties; to The Mistaken which delivered not only one but two plot twists; this six-week summer intensive was a meaningful one to the youth participants.
“I’m not much of an editor; I’m an actor,” says Jennylee Burgos, “but I like to learn new things so I decided to edit this [group] film. It was a lot of work, sweat and tears and I realized that I have a lot of patience… The challenge that I came above was for me not to just quit. A lot of times I just wanted to quit but I said ‘No, I’m not letting my team down.’”
This summer alone, BPA programs served 55 teens from over 25 schools in underserved communities around the City. Over 50 personal films and nine short films were created in total. Our BPA Media-Instructors also conducted written feedback surveys and video-dialogue sessions with each student to gauge their experiences. It was here that BPA’s impact on Philadelphia youth became crystal clear. A funder sitting in the audience at the culminating Delphi Summer screening asked, “What would you tell a funder about whether this program is worth funding or not?”
“If a funder asked ‘is this program worth funding?’ I would say yes,” says BPA Student Reginald Coleman, “it keeps children off the streets. We have something to do every summer and we go out places and get to know other people inside of work and outside of our work. And also because it shows our creative side and we make positive impacts around our community and then branch it worldwide through YouTube and things like that.”
A jam-packed program line-up wasn’t the end of BPA’s summer. Excitement continued to bubble with the filming of GATEWAY, a documentary about The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s How Philly Moves mural installment along the airport parking garage facing Interstate 95 South. The last panel of the mural was laid on Tuesday, July 12 and was undoubtedly a chapter marker in Philadelphia history. However, the culmination of the project will be on October 12 when the official unveiling of the mural will take place alongside a rooftop dance party.
After the mural dedication, BPA’s production of GATEWAY will continue with interviews and additional pick up shots around the City. Starting in mid-October, a temporary five to seven minute excerpt from GATEWAY (teaser-style) will become part of a permanent exhibit of How Philly Moves inside the airport. An official exhibit opening will take place later on this year so stay tuned for details!
GATEWAY is Produced by BPA Executive Director Teri Yago Ryan and Directed by former BPA media-instructor, Christopher Ambolino. BPA media instructors have served as camera operators adding this history-making doc to their filmographies. Additionally, BPA students visit on production days to work side-by-side with BPA staff to set up equipment, run cameras and collaborate with the actors. They also use BPA flip-cameras to do their own documenting of their work.
The beauty of both projects, How Philly Moves and GATEWAY, extends beyond the initial façade of the mural; the intricate stories of the people and organizations involved in this project are a brilliant display of civic engagement and community. Best of all, BPA media-instructors and students are collaborating on a real, work-ready production and, in this case, one that will make history.
“This is exactly why this project is so exciting to us,” says BPA Executive Director Teri Yago-Ryan, “our students are able to be a part of one of the largest public art projects the world has ever seen. We’re building REEL to REAL experiences here.”
Join us on Sunday, October 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for a small reception and film screening to, again, celebrate the 2011 Delphi Summer Teen Media Program! This informal reception is FREE to attend and all BPA students, families and community friends are welcome.
Join us as we celebrate student-produced work from the “REEL Film Experience”, Big Picture Alliance’s six-week summer media arts programs at the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology (PCAT) and Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) plus student-work from the Delphi Teen Media Summer Program, a cooperative program between Big Picture Alliance, Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy, Taller Puertorriqueño and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
We hope you can join us for one, two or all three of the screenings!
Click on the screening titles below to visit each event homepage. All events are FREE and open to the public.
REEL Film Experience @ PCAT Screening
Thursday, August 11
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
2111-31 Eastburn Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19138
REEL Film Experience @ AAI Screening
Friday, August 12
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Delphi Teen Media Summer Program Screening
Friday, August 12
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
26th Street & Ben Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Van Pelt Auditorium
A screening of student films and documentaries will bring in the new year with a bang so mark it on your calendar! In summer 2010, for the 10th season, a small group of Philadelphia teens learned film making and media arts at PMA. The films were created by students in collaboration with Big Picture Alliance, Esperanza Academy Charter High School, and Taller Puertorriqueño. This year the films use Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte as their inspiration.
These films can be viewed on January 7th at Philadelphia Museum of Art! Come out and support these local teens!
An Evening Showcasing Youth Media at PhillyCAM Studio
Showcasing various short videos, including the film “Jerk.”
Come support the Big Picture Alliance students who directed and produced the film “Jerk,” a film about a teenager, John, who is going through life changes that have hardened his personality. Three of his old friends are unhappy about John becoming a jerk until they realize the reason why. Can his friends help him before it’s too late?
In the summer of 2010, students from various high schools across the city worked with BPA teachers under the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program to create several films that display the students’ talents in film production. The film ” Jerk,” was done in collaboration with BPA, Esperanza Academy,Taller Puertorriqueño, and Philadelphia Museum of Arts within the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program. On November 5, 2010 the film will be shown at the PhillyCAM studio at their event: An Evening Showcasing Youth Media. Along with a screening of various videos from youth media programs, selections from PhillyCAM’s recurring series Straight Up Real Talk will be screened. The screenings will take place from 5:30PM-7:30PM.
232 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
6-8 PM ~ Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter School ~ 301 West Hunting Park Ave.
Tonight’s the night! Join us for the grand finale of the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program. Come meet and mingle with the filmmakers, watch their creative productions and engage them in a Q&A session after the screening.
Here’s a video featuring BPA students in Love Park last week,from Philadelphia’s Hispanic newspaper Al Día. A beautiful day and a beautiful setting for creative self-expression!
Under the creative direction of local artist Ben Volta, students of the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program used water from the fountain to “paint” designs on the pavement. The students have been examining and creating art with a new perspective, inspired by Volta’s work with Michelangelo Pistoletto.
UPDATE: Read a translation of the article below! (Thanks to Juan Felipe Cardona, an intern with the Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Summer, Lights, Camera, and Action!
By Angelica Herrera-Al Dia
Translated By Juan Felipe Cardona
The story of “Patán” describes how a young honors student becomes involved with drugs after the recent death of his mother, and because of his father’s neglect.
This is one of the three different stories that were developed and realized this summer-with cables, microphones, lights, cameras and the ”action” of twenty young students between fourteen and eighteen years
“When you are behind the camera, you don’t see things the same way [as if you were in front of it]“, explains Francisco Sandoval-the director of cultural programs at Taller Puertorriqueño. “You find yourself in charge of scene takes, editing, casting, and everything else that the process involves.”
Sandoval, one of the collaborators for the “Delphi summer media program”, explains that the students work on their films through the course of six weeks. We teach them everything [involved in the process of making a film], from how to make a script out of a general idea, to the format in which they should write it-[ultimately leading to the application of cinematographic techniques.]
“I love to observe as they film or edit. [What is most interesting is to see their progress from the ground up", proudly boasts Sandoval.
This program-the result of collaboration between Taller Puertorriqueño, the Big Picture Alliance, The Philadelphia Museum of
Art, and the Esperanza Academy Charter High School-is comprised of three stages. The first is [the creation of] a video limited to three minutes in length based on a monologue-where the students are allowed to explore the Museum and use it as the setting for their video. “It’s important to expose teenagers and children to beautiful art that is not normally part of their everyday life. It helps them develop emotionally and continue to progress in their lives with a more positive outlook”, remarks Sandoval.
The second stage is the making of a video of the same duration, which the students produce individually. As for their final task, the
students work in teams of five or six partners in the creation of a community group project. Tasks are democratically assigned to team
members, diving up the work evenly.
“It’s amazing… you become very proud of how easily they learn and grow, and through the anticipation of seeing their creations screened for the public (…) we get to see how the program stimulates their development in different ways”, replied Dwight Wilkins-a
representative of the Big Picture Alliance and editing teacher for the program.
The culmination of all their hard labor ends this August sixth with the exhibition of the students’ films at Nueva Esperanza Academy.
With movie titles such as “Mundo Mágico [magic world]” and ”Restaurando Justicia [restoring justice]“, the students convey their
concerns and feelings about the issues they feel are important.
The most important part of the program is that it teaches the students to work together, to interact with each other effectively, and about the importance of responsibility.
According to Sandoval, that the only thing that is asked of the students each day is their enthusiasm and commitment to work in the
program. “One of the most rewarding aspects of working with teenagers is how easily one is influenced by their energy, imagination, and optimism.”
“There are Argentineans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, and they can all learn from each other. They interact and develop ideas that they find interesting while they learn about the different aspect of other cultures”, adds Sandoval.
“We could be here forever making movies…, but seeing the positive change in these teenagers is the “real” trophy of this program”,
Come join the BPA for the grand finale of our summer program for young filmmakers!
Featuring films produced by 19 North Philadelphia youth, the screening will take place from 6 PM to 8 PM on Friday, August 6th, at Nueva Esperanza High School (301 West Hunting Park Ave). The evening will showcase a selection of student films ranging from autobiography and comedy to historical fiction and documentary. After the screening, look forward to a Q&A panel with the directors and stars of the summer program.