Miami Short Film Festival and the Knight Center bring 300 local public school students to UM

Photo: Lauren Janetos

Students practicing with Flip Video cameras.
After watching a short version of "One Water," an award-winning documentary about our changing relationship to water, 300 students from five Miami-Dade County public schools in the area had a chance to learn hands-on about filmmaking and video shooting and editing through workshops held by the Knight Center for International Media for four consecutive days during the 7th annual Miami Short Film Festival at the University of Miami's Cosford Cinema.

Festival founder and director, William Vela, said the Student Outreach program, presented and coordinated by University of Miami School of Communication, has been increasingly popular with Miami-Dade County public school teachers and the Knight Center's collaboration is adding substantially to its success this year.

"We have received an incredible amount of interest and enthusiasm from teachers who are very excited to involve their schools in this program, and learn more about 'One Water,'" he said. "Now with the participation of the Knight Center for International Media, the program has moved onto another level in that we are engaging students in filmmaking and the critical global issue of water conservation."

Sanjeev Chatterjee, the Knight Center's executive director and the film's director and producer, said this initiative has shown positive results and encouraged young people to take further action. "Our hope is that this training will motivate school students to utilize digital media to tell the world about important issues they care about," he said.

Through the "Film for Change" series of workshops, taught by Trevor Green, Knight Center's video editor, students learned basic skills about new media reporting, Flip camera shooting techniques, video interview principles, editing short clips for the web and posting online.

The festival, for the second year partnering with the University of Miami to showcase short films from around the world, runs through Nov. 23 at the Bill Cosford Cinema.

Participant schools:

Coral Reef SH
Fienber Fisher Elementary
Robert Morgan Educ. Center
South Dade Senior High
South Miami Middle School

Click on each video to watch step-by-step instructions:

Video 1: Camera movements

Video 3: Lighting

Video 2: Camera tips & tricks

Video 4: Using Flip video
Posted on November 21, 2008