FILMSTERS Academy: 15 years filmmaking with kids in Annapolis

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— FILMSTERS Academy, a summer film camp for kids is celebrating 15 years this summer. Over 138 short films have been produced, shot, directed, acted in and edited by kids, from 11-18 years in age. In the fifteen-year time span, over 800 students have attended the film camp, which offers three levels of instruction.

FILMSTERS Academy was co-founded in 2002, by Lee Anderson and Patti White, nationally credited TV producers and filmmakers. The duo also brought about the Annapolis Film Festival, which they co-founded together and is now heading into its fifth year. At FILMSTERS, the staff is made up of young working professionals who are graduates of film schools all over the country.

“We have an 80-85 percent return rate at film camp. Most kids average 4-5 years of film camp as they move thru the levels. We are with them as they grow creatively each year,” says Lee Anderson, co-founder. “Not only are we growing young filmmakers and seeing them get into some of the top film schools in the country; FILMSTERS Academy has also become a professional network for the young professionals who teach each summer and then move on to New York or LA.”

This year, the program takes place from August 1 through August 8, 2016. Each student will have the opportunity to conceive, pitch, write, shoot, produce, direct, create and edit a short film over the course of five to 14 days depending upon their level of expertise and experience. At the end of the program, they present their work to family and friends at film festival on August 12, 2016, in the Key School Activity Building. This original short film screening is free and open to the public. Though this year’s date to register has passed, late registry is available until July 31 and spots will fill up quickly.

After years of running the camp, its reputation is growing as it attracts terrific guest instructors. First time feature film director, Marlee Roberts, who directed the feature film “Little Miss Perfect,” which screened at the Annapolis Film Festival, is coming in as supervising director for the Advanced filmmaking program. Musician Logan Nyman will provide the music for films. The camp will also feature other guest instructors this summer, including: Producer/Writer Mimi Edmunds and Michael Miller, Stunt Coordinator Rick Kain, professional Make-up artist Julia Gingles, LA Cinematographer Kevin Mayorga, Gaffer David Burroughs and former CNN Producer Lucy Speigel who will work with the kids.

“If you ask us what we are the most proud of in creating this program, it would be the fact that we’ve managed to create a 100 percent non-competitive, creative learning environment that is just plain fun,” says Anderson. “Almost anything can happen at film camp. We’ve had lots and lots of drama, but somehow in the end, we put it on the screen in time for the film festival. The audience is always amazed at what these kids can do with their imagination and the right tools.”

Enrollment this summer at the popular FILMSTERS Academy is approximately 60 kids, 25+ staff and the many guest professionals from all over the country who all gather together to teach these young filmmakers the art of storytelling. There are three levels for Beginners (11-14): two one week programs, Intermediates (13-16): a 10 day program, and Advanced (ages 16-18): a comprehensive 14 day program. FILMSTERS Academy in Annapolis will be held at the Key School, 534 Hillsmere Drive in Annapolis.

For additional information please visit the FILMSTERS website www.filmstersacademy.com