Drew University Hosts FilmBoot24

Drew and high school students collaborate for the 24-hour filmmaking competition

A recap by Eden Linton C’24

November 2023 – Drew University hosted students from Orange High School in Orange, New Jersey, to take part in FilmBoot24, a 24-hour filmmaking bootcamp and competition now in its seventh year.

The event, a collaboration between Drew’s Center for Civic Engagement, Cinema Ed, and Orange Public Schools, gathered 15 Drew students, 27 Orange High School students, and six professional mentors to form six competing teams tasked with creating a short film in just over 24 hours.

“Filmboot24 is an important program because it not only offers a rare and special experience for young people of color but also provides a powerful and impactful platform for them to express themselves,” said Assistant Professor of Civic Engagement and Faculty Director of Civically Engaged Teaching & Learning Mecca Madyun.

“Exposing these students to the film industry presents a new world of artistic and career possibilities that may not have existed within their realm of reality or tangibility. It is an industry that has long needed more voices of color present and a diversity of representation throughout.”

Each of the six teams were given a random theme from three different options; culinary arts, computer science, and taking a stand. Each team had to incorporate the use of an identical prop, a mirror. 

Filming commenced on the second day of the event and media kits were provided to the participating students. 

One team produced a Spanish language film with English subtitles. Students from Drew’s the U.S. Latino/an Experience Community Based Learning course served as mentors in their filmmaking process.

It was amazing to see Drew students who were veterans of the program recruit new students and even Drew peer mentors—all collaborating with each other.

“Our program is designed to address the achievement gap, unleash creativity, and share student films with the world—all jam packed in a weekend,” said Richard Stephen Bell, executive director of Cinema Ed. “Cinema Ed partners with high school educators and counselors, universities, and professional filmmakers to immerse students in the world of filmmaking.”

Drew, Cinema Ed, Valley Arts, Discover Jersey Arts, and Orange Public Schools sponsored the event. Click here to view the six student-created films.

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