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Learn how to make your first movie in just 5 days! Summer Camp for girls and gender-expansive youth ages 11-15.

Program Overview

This summer is Reel Stories’ 10 year anniversary! For 10 years, Reel Stories has worked to close the gender gap in the film industry. At Reel Stories, young women and gender-expansive youth learn the craft of filmmaking, sharpen their media literacy, make industry connections, and create films that represent themselves and inspire others. Join us this summer to share your stories, your audience is waiting!

This summer we are evolving the original 5 day filmmaking bootcamp. 10 years ago, we changed the filmmaking landscape with our first one week filmmaking program – We have updated this program for 2023! Boot Camp is for girls and gender expansive youth ages 11-15, who are new to filmmaking – no experience required!

The Reel Stories Boot Camp is the perfect opportunity for students looking to get their first introduction to the world of movie-making. In this 5 day camp, students will write, film, and edit their own movies using easy to access technology that they can use at home to continue their filmmaking journey.

Boot Camp will conclude with a film festival at a local Bay Area theater where students screen their films for friends and family. After camp ends, Reel Stories staff submit camp films to festivals throughout the year. Reel Stories films have shown at film festivals such as: The Mill Valley Film Festival, POWfest, All-American High School Film Festival, Bay Area International Children’s Festival, Coven Film Festival, and many, many others.

Program Details

WHEN: July 31st – August 4th, 2023, 9:00am-2:00pm (with an optional media hour from 2-3pm see FAQ for more information)

WHERE: Oakstop, 1721 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

WHO: Young women and gender expansive youth ages 11-15


Financial Aid and Scholarships:

No filmmaker is ever turned away due to lack of funds. If you need financial assistance for this program, please email to start a discussion about the options available for your student. We offer pay-what-you-can sliding scale tuition and do not require proof of income. Applying for financial aid will not affect your chances of getting into our camp and we encourage you to ask for assistance if you need it. Visit this link to learn more about the process of applying for Financial Aid or Scholarships.


What is your COVID-19 safety policy?

All participants and staff will be expected to wear a face mask in all circumstances except when actively eating,drinking, or acting in a film. All participants are asked to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with the exception for students who are unable to get vaccinated due to medical conditions or religion. Any students who are not vaccinated will be required to get tested for COVID-19 and receive negative test results within 48 hours of the first day of camp (June 10th, 2023). All staff members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. There will be face masks, hand sanitizer, and rapid COVID-19 tests available for all students and staff.

What is your refund policy?

You can also cancel your enrollment up to two weeks 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 two weeks 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.

What are the learning outcomes and skills gained from attending Reel Stories Boot Camp?

Campers will learn media literacy tools to aid them in viewing the media they see every day with a critical eye.

Campers will learn about story structure and write their own short scripts using the industry standard for AV scripts (Audio Visual scripts). During production, campers will have workshops on camera framing and storytelling through cinematography techniques. We will be filming using iPad minis and iMovie. Students will have the opinion to use microphones to record audio, but as this is an introductory class we urge campers to use their storytellings skills to “show not tell” and use limited dialogue on screen!

Campers will finish their films in iMovie and have the opportunity to learn the basics of Stop-Motion for their movie titles using mobile apps.

In addition to our technical training, campers gain experience with public speaking, pitching, and giving constructive criticism throughout the filmmaking process and at our final film festival.

What is the optional media hour at the end of camp?

Boot Camp will officially end at 2pm each day, but we wanted to offer an option for campers to stay until 3pm to match regular school pick up and drop off times and make it easier for their parents and guardians to pick them up.

During the optional media hour, a Reel Stories instructor will play curated short films and facilitate group discussions about the storytelling and filmmaking methods used.

Who is Reel Stories?

Reel Stories is an Oakland-based program that seeks to close the gender gap in media by training, mentoring, and supporting the next generation of empowered filmmakers. Reel Stories is part of BAVC Media, a community hub and resource for media makers in the Bay Area and across the country, serving over 7,500 freelancers, filmmakers, job-seekers, activists, and artists every year.

For more information about Camp Reel Stories, feel free to visit our FAQ section on our website.

For general questions, please email the Reel Stories Program Manager, Yasaman Ford, at

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