Tribecca Film Institute brings filmmaking home

Lights, camera, action! The children of Bronx Preparatory Charter School have experienced the art of filmmaking through the help of the Tribeca Film Institute.

While budget cuts are forcing art programs out of the most curriculums, for the third year Tribeca Teaches: Films in Motion, a ten-week intensive program, brings filmmaking into the classroom.

“The program started as a way to bring the Tribeca Film Festival to the young people of the outer boroughs,” said Lisa Lucas, direct of youth programming for the TFF. “We use film as an educational tool.”

A total of 88 students divided into four classes from Bronx Preparatory Charter School, located 3872 3rd Avenue, composed of 6th and 8th graders, were selected to participate.

“It’s an intensive filmmaking program that helps develop media literacy,” said teaching artist Michael Kugler. “The kids get to watch films and talk about how we interpret and consume media.”

Beginning in January, the students selected topics relating to their neighborhood, family and for the films they would create.

“They are incredibly mature and thought about the things that were important to them,” said Lucas. “They really thought about their audience and made a movie that went beyond the four walls of their school and can impact other students.”

The short film created by the children focused on race relations, immigration, peer pressure and rebellion.

“We selected immigration to the Bronx and finding a community beyond their place of origin,” said Kugler. “We researched our topic and divided into small production groups to conduct interviews.”

The students in Kugler’s class conducted formal scheduled interviews, interviews with people off the street, reached out to the New York Immigration Coalition, and spoke to residents at St. Barnabas Hospital, staff at their own school and people from other schools in the area.

The entire student body will have a chance to watch a screening of the film during the TFF on Wednesday, April 29.

“We are excited to be premiering their work,” said Lucas. “I think it’s incredible for them to sit in a movie theater and see something that came from their minds.”

For more information on the Tribeca Film Festival visit

Bronx Preparatory Charter School

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