The primary goals of CINEMA are to teach young adults the art, business and science of filmmaking; to provide these participants a hands-on experience of making their own films in a realistic format that encourages them to consider filmmaking as a viable career alternative; and to explore the creative process of cinema as a means to increase self-esteem and develop decision-making skills necessary in any profession.

During each CINEMA series, instructors provide 19 two-hour workshops and one day of film shooting. In-depth workshop topics include script writing sessions that cover story arc, character development, grammar and vocabulary and general literacy; acting; directing; cinematography; introduction to the equipment used in filmmaking; and technical aspects of film shooting, editing, and production.

Each group of students who participate in CINEMA perform all of the roles required to make a film. Each student writes an idea for a script. Then, the students as a group choose one of the film ideas to produce a full script treatment, the one selected will be produced by the group. Students audition for each job; lighting, camera, sound, makeup, wardrobe, director, actors, etc., that must be filled to make the film. The students must then secure a location for the film shoot and determine the logistics of the film. The students spend a day on location filming to produce a finished 5- to 10-minute film. The students work with the FFI staff to edit and complete the film. Each student receives a DVD copy of their film production. Students also enter their completed film into local, regional and national film festivals.

Our program helps prepare students for a future in the film industry. There is a great need for skilled professionals in the field, and the workshop series will provide students with an introduction to career options as well as an understanding of the film industry, the various roles in film production and the practical skills needed in each area.