Think of it as PeaceCorps for filmmakers. We send filmmakers and media educators overseas to teach filmmaking and media literacy to underserved students for 1 full year. Our mission is to provide opportunities for cultural exchange and to empower students to tell their own stories.
OUR STORY // After years of teaching media to students across the US, our team decided it was time to help filmmakers and art educators share their skills with overseas communities. First we founded a nonprofit organization. Then, we assembled a team of educators, artists, and international development specialists to help send volunteer filmmakers abroad for 1 full year.
OUR TEAM // Our collective work experience includes the Tribeca Film Institute, Educational Video Center, VH1, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Global Potential, Charlotte Street Films, Results 4 Development (R4D) Institute, and the NYC Department of Education.
OVERSEAS PARTNERS & SCHOOLS // The Bhutan Foundation, Children For Change Cambodia (CCC), Honduras Child Alliance, Volunteer Initiative Nepal, The Modern Story, Y-FI Africa, The Craig Bellamy Foundation.
HOW WE DO IT // We partner directly with schools and community organizations in developing countries. FWB educators work directly with youth in overseas classrooms 6 hours/day, 4 days/week for 1 year. We provide participants with curriculum, cameras, and equipment and we cover the cost of flights, housing, food, and insurance.
Our curriculum uses all aspects of the filmmaking process as a means for promoting cross cultural exchange, creative empowerment, and digital storytelling. All projects are student-centered and aligned with Common Core, ISTE, and NYC Moving Image Blueprint curriculum standards.
Students learn the following skills:
- Storytelling Techniques
- Creative Writing
- Photography & Storyboarding
- Film Production (Shooting/Framing)
- Audio & Sound Design
- Editing & Post-Production
- Interviewing Techniques
Examples of student projects include...
- Film Scripts
- Short Documentary Films
- Short Narrative Films
- Experimental Films
- Photography Projects
- Audio Projects
- Multimedia Projects
- Student Film Festival & Community Screenings
Our team works directly with overseas partner communities to ensure the promotion of culturally specific and sustainable educational practices. Additionally, our Director of Cultural Sustainability works closely with students' families, neighbors, and local community leaders to infuse local knowledge into all FWB curriculum and identifies opportunities for community empowerment.
Using Skype, Google Docs, and other digital tools, our team connects NYC students with youth in overseas communities. Students work together to make short film projects and learn about each others' culture. Check out this collaboration produced by students in the Bronx & Nairobi.
FWB works with partner organizations across 7 different countries and fully-funds filmmakers to travel, live, and teach overseas for 1 year. Your donation will help cover the cost of roundtrip international flights, housing and food (12 months), local transportation, evacuation insurance, cameras, laptops, and additional equipment.
FWB is 100% donor supported.
From seeing their ideas up on the big screen to learning from passionate and engaging educators (who traveled half way around the world just for them), your contribution will make a meaningful impact in the lives of underserved students. Thank you so much for helping us to empower the next generation of digital storytellers!
- The FWB Team
(Alissa, Beth, Cameron, Cody, Corey, Dena, Emilia, Kevin, Liz, Vivianne)
Risks and challenges
With regard to overseas travel concerns, the health and safety of our participants is of the utmost importance and FWB provides year-round evacuation insurance to ensure that filmmakers are equipped in the event of an emergency. Additionally, we provide detailed information relating to in-country medical services, hospitals, health centers, and related processes.
FILMMAKERS without BORDERS' Director of Cultural Sustainability Vivianne Njoku is dedicated to ensuring that FWB is listening to the concerns and motivations of the communities with which we work. FWB is extremely sensitive to the challenges associated with bringing new technologies into communities as well as issues relating to cultural immersion and overall culture shock. Vivianne's core responsibilities include meeting and working with students' families, neighbors, and community leaders to integrate their cultural knowledge and expectations into the FWB curriculum, handbooks, etc.
Additionally, the FWB Education staff is devoted to ensuring educational sustainability. While we plan to send filmmakers back to the same community year after year after year, our film educators also train local educators how to sustain such a film program on their own.
Finally, we are very aware of the historic lack of consideration sometimes given to local communities by well-intentioned international organizations and have specific measures in place to ensure that local communities have a voice and are empowered to shape their own future.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)