Summer Programs

When women and non-binary filmmakers are better represented behind the scenes, they’re better reflected on the screen. That’s why Reel Stories is training the next generation of empowered filmmakers. Through collaborative, hands-on programs, we’re creating a pipeline of filmmakers with the skills they need to enter the film and media industry, and the confidence they need to succeed.

Summer 2022 FAQs

Summer Programs

2 weeks • For middle school and high school young women and non-binary youth with some or no filmmaking experience

Each session begins with media literacy training, as well as leadership and team building. Film workshops are held throughout the program to teach you the skills needed to create your own film. Guest lectures are given by professional film and media makers who have worked in the media industry for decades, including Oscar nominees and winners. Editing takes place the last few days of the program. Virtual film festival will be held at the end of the two weeks for the filmmakers to debut their films!

Learn Every Step of the Filmmaking Process


As a key part of the development process, directors and producers pitch their project to receive funding to make their films. During our development phase, you’ll learn how to pitch your stories and work together with your group to get a project “green lit”.


There are many different elements that need to be considered before a movie is even filmed. You’ll get an introduction to these elements, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, casting, set / art design, and locations.


With a focus on the roles needed in the actual production of a film, you’ll get hands-on experience of how the director, cinematographer, actors, gaffer, sound engineer, and others collaborate to create each frame of a movie.


You’ll learn to polish a film and prepare it for distribution, includig film editing, sound mixing, title creation, and special effects.

Grand Finale

Your film will be shown on a big screen in an official film festival where you and your team present your work to an audience of family, friends, and local supporters!

My time as a camper and volunteer at Reel Stories afforded me the experiences, skills, and relationships that lead to my acceptance to UCLA's film and television program, and has continued to benefit me in my schooling.

Yasaman FordAlumna & Summer Program Producer


What’s the process for signing up?

Sign up for our Teen Filmmaking Camps on Eventbrite:

Register For Reel Stories Filmmaking Camp Session 1: June 13th-June 24th

Register For Reel Stories Filmmaking Camp Session 2: June 27th-July 9th

For our Institute Program, applications are on Google Forms. The applications are due April 15th

Apply For Reel Stories Institute: July 18th-July 29th

I have attended other media programs in the past or other Reel Stories programs this year, but not a summer program. Should I sign up for Beginner or Institute?

Each program will be challenging and you will learn a ton about filmmaking from professionals. The Reel Stories Institute is meant for our most advanced filmmakers, ages 15-24. If you have any questions about which program might suit you or your child best you can email our program manager at

Can I sign up my teen for more than one session of filmmaking camp this summer?

You absolutely can! Many of our filmmakers have attended two Reel Stories camps in one summer.

When will you know if the programs will be in person or virtual?

We will follow all the guidelines from the local health department and the CDC. Currently, we are planning for all of our summer programs to be 100% in-person.

I see a sliding scale on your registration site. Can you tell me more about that?

40% of our filmmakers receive financial aid to attend our filmmaking programs, and we are proud to allow any filmmaker to attend our camp, regardless of financial status. All our programs are sliding scale and we ask that you pay what you can. If you need a full scholarship we can also offer those. For more information, please reach out to Reel Stories staff member Grace Patterson at

What’s the Institute?

The Institute is a program for our most dedicated and ambitious filmmakers. If you truly see yourself having a career in the film industry this might be a good fit for you.

Participants are expected to already be familiar with filmmaking equipment, and will be expected to arrive on the first day of the program with a film to pitch. Then one or two ideas will be chosen to make during the course of the two weeks. This program is open to 15-24 year olds with 12 spaces open. This is an application based program.

Apply here. Applications are due April 15th.

If you have any questions about The Institute, please email

Who is allowed to attend Reel Stories summer camps?

Our mission at Reel Stories began with bringing more women into the media industry. As time has gone on since our founding in 2013, we have expanded our mission to increase representation for people of all marginalized genders and identities who rarely see themselves on the screen or behind the scenes. About 15% of our participants identify as non-binary or transgender, and we have non-binary and transgender staff members as well. We have had women, transgender men, transgender women, non-binary filmmakers, genderqueer filmmakers, and filmmakers who are questioning their gender attend our programs in the past. Reel Stories does everything that we can to ensure that Reel Stories is a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming space for students of all genders and identities.

Our summer camps are meant for teenagers and young adults.

Will I really make a film in this program?

I know it seems unbelievable! We have never had a team not complete their film by the last day. The two weeks go by fast with lots of workshops and hands on experience!

How old do I need to be to attend the Reel Stories Summer Program?

Our Summer Teen Filmmaking Programs are for Middle School and High School girls and non-binary youth, ages 12-18 years old. Our Filmmaking Institute is for women and non-binary filmmakers ages 15-24.

I need to miss a day of Reel Stories, is that okay?

Every day at Reel Stories is incredibly important. Not only will you miss valuable workshops, but it means your production company will be with out a key member of the team. Please plan on attending every day and the weekend Film Festival.

What happens to our films after Reel Stories?

The films created at Reel Stories go live on our YouTube channel and website. We also submit them to festivals around the country. We have had films selected for the POWfest, All-American High School Film Festival, Bay Area International Children’s Festival, Coven Film Festival, and many, many others.

I really want to attend, but might require some financial assistance. Can you tell me more about your Financial Aid Program?

It’s incredibly important to us that any student that wants to attend Reel Stories has the ability to. We offer 40% of our participant’s financial aid with a sliding scale tuition based on the honor system. You tell us what you can pay, and we will work with you!

I don’t live in the Bay Area. Can I attend Reel Stories?

We understand that. There are only a few media programs for girls and non-binary youth in the United States, so we want you to attend if you can! You are more than welcome to attend Reel Stories, and we have had participants fly in from all over the country, but Reel Stories is a day program and you will have to arrange for your own accommodations and transportation.

Tell me more about the Film Festival

The weekend following Reel Stories we screen the films created at Reel Stories at a theater! Each Production Company gets to present their film and participates in a Q&A after their screening. The festival is open to the public. Each participant gets 2 free tickets and additional tickets will be for sale at the door, but no one will be turned away because of a lack of funds

Do you supply the filmmaking equipment at Reel Stories? What about lunch?

Everything technical that you will need to make your film will be made available during the course of the program. If you need costumes or special props we will see what we can do, as well. We don’t supply lunch, but lots of snacks. We prefer that you bring a lunch, instead of money to buy lunch. We have refrigerators and microwaves for the participants to use.

This program sounds awesome! But I'm an adult / outside of the age range. Are there any programs I can attend?

There sure are! We offer Women’s Filmmaking Weekends and Pre-Professional workshops. See our current programs being offered here.

What is your cancellation policy for summer camp 2022?

If a scheduling conflict comes up, you can swap your enrollment between our two sessions of camp for no additional cost up until June 10th, 2022.

You can also cancel your enrollment up to a week before the camp session you signed up for starts for a full refund, minus a $50 registration fee. If you need to cancel less than a week before your session of camp starts, and do not choose to swap to another session, we will not be able to issue you a refund.

For Session 1 the last day to cancel is: June 6th, 2022

For Session 2 the last day to cancel is: June 20th, 2022