Reel Stories Institute

Institute is Reel Stories’ most advanced filmmaking program for girls and gender expansive youth looking to make the jump from student to professional filmmaker. During our three week summer intensive, participants create a portfolio quality film with the support of Reel Stories staff.

Institute Summer 2024 will be July 8th-26th Mondays-Fridays from 10am-4pm
Apply Now for Summer 2024!

About Institute

We created the Reel Stories Institute in 2017 to give our most ambitious filmmakers a space to create professional level films in a production company environment. The program mirrors a professional production with dedicated media teachers to mentor participants. Institute participants attend career talks, and are visited by industry professionals for private workshops and networking sessions.

The Institute is open to girls and gender expansive youth ages 15-20 that have experience creating films and are planning to attend film school, currently are in film school, or are planning to enter the film industry. The films created at Institute are perfect for college applications, or to bulk up your filmmaking portfolio as Institute films frequently get accepted to and win awards at film festivals.

Reel Stories made me realize that as a women I am capable of sharing my vision to the world just as or better than men.

Liz TrillInstitute Alumni

Reel Stories is the reason I want to go into filmmaking. I aspire to be an influence on other young women in and outside of the film industry.

Jane SimonettiInstitute Alumni

The Reel Stories Institute program was my first big step in the beginning of my filmmaking journey. The support of the Reel Stories staff and being surrounded by other emerging filmmakers who wanted to create art in a safe and collaborative space showed me the power of creating passionate and supportive production crews and set environments. Joining the Reel Stories Institute allowed me to see myself as a filmmaker with agency and learn about working with others in an environment that is a step closer to professional filmmaking from the Advanced and Beginner programs offered by Reel Stories. My time at the Institute gave me the confidence and skills I needed to move to the next level of filmmaking.

Kayla WongInstitute Alumni

When I joined institute I had just developed interest in audio and sound recording so during my time in the program I was able to really focus on exploring that side of filmmaking as it wasn’t as popular as directing or camera. I was encouraged to explore my interests to their fullest!

Carol Luna MoralesInstitute Alumni

Institute Films at Film Festivals

The films made at Reel Stories Institute are submitted to film festivals throughout the year by Reel Stories staff, giving participants opportunities to screen their films at festivals across the country. Here are a list of Reel Stories Institute films that have played in film festivals:

Jasmine’s Book (2021) – Screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival 2021, and was selected for the RollCall Indie Showcase 2022 in Atlanta, GA.

Choice (2019) – “Choice.” has been screened at the 4th Annual Dancing Spider Film Festival and was made an official selection for the 2020 Bright Ideas Film Festival.

Dear (2019) – This film is a Sprrkle Collective Official Selection.

Blue (2018) – Blue has been a finalist for for Best Screenplay for the Opficer Media Student Film Festival, and a finalist in the narrative short category of Cinema Ed’s Young Filmmaker’s Track at the 2019 Soma Film Festival. This film has been featured in the Coven Film Festival, the Girls Make Movies Film Festival by Hawai’i Women In Filmmaking, Drunken Film Festival, and the American High School Film Festival.

After Institute

Reel Stories Institute Alumni often return to Reel Stories as mentors to our younger campers, as Producers for our Camp Reel Stories programs. Reel Stories Institute Alumni are currently attending or graduated from the following schools in a film or related media major:

University of Southern California (USC) school of Cinematic Arts, University of San Francisco, Chapman University, New York University – Tisch, San Francisco State University, University of Southern California Los Angeles Film School, University of California Berkeley, Emerson College, Loyola Marymount University, St. Olaf College, Northeastern University, Lesley University