Youth Filmmaking Mentorship Program

SkyWorks is proud to announce a new programming initiative to support youth to make their own films for social change. The Real Change Youth Filmmaking Mentorship Program is a film/video training and community engagement program which creates spaces for marginalized youth, ages 14 to 20, to make films about topics and issues that affect them, their families and communities.

Real Change encourages youth to find their voices, speak out, tell their own stories, engage positively with their communities, develop confidence and leadership skills, and acquire practical skills that will open doors to further education and career opportunities in media, journalism, the arts, community leadership and related fields.

Workshops provide youth with practical instruction in research, storytelling, planning, production and post-production. They may also include visits by guest filmmakers and community leaders, discussions about media and social change, and group outings to film screenings and film/video production facilities where youth can see professional film and television productions in the making.

Completed film projects are shown publicly at community screenings as well as being posted on SkyWorks’ web site and on YouTube. The program includes a public engagement component in which young filmmakers will appear in schools and public libraries to present and discuss their films with audiences.

Success Beyond Limits (SBL) is a youth mentorship and empowerment program that supports youth in Toronto's Jane and Finch community. This short film was directed, shot, and edited by youth from SBL, trained through SkyWorks Charitable Foundation's Real Change Youth Filmmaking Mentorship Program.

Real Change Partners

"Our goal is to expose youth to new horizons, new career fields, opportunities and experiences that broaden their view of how they see themselves, their communities and what's possible. [SkyWorks' filmmaking] workshop was a huge success. The youth accomplished something, they all had their horizons expanded. I've seen each of them refer to themselves differently in the school and community, in terms of the skills they have and how they define themselves. It was very beneficial and life altering for the youth who were a part of it. This is a great example of the type of investments we need to be making in youth."

-Christopher Penrose, Executive Director
Success Beyond Limits, pilot partner in Real Change

At the heart of the Real Change program are our partnerships with community organizations who have a long-established working relationship with youth. Partners so far have included the Toronto District School Board, Success Beyond Limits, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, and Plan Canada.

Real Change is envisioned as a permanent and ongoing program coordinated by SkyWorks in partnership with community organizations across Ontario who are working with youth and marginalized youth.

If your organization, school or school board is interested in becoming a partner in the Real Change program, please contact:

David Adkin
Community Development Coordinator
Tel (416) 536-6581 ext. 224

Real Change Partners to Date:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto
Charles Street Video
Centre for Urban Schools, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Plan Canada
Reframe Peterborough International Film Festival
Success Beyond Limits
Toronto District School Board / Focus on Youth Toronto
Toronto International Film Festival / TIFF Bell Lightbox
Toronto Public Library

Pilot Funding for the Real Change Program has been generously provided by:

Toronto District School Board / Focus on Youth Toronto
Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport

Generously supported by The Stodgell/Massey Commitment: Patrons of The Voices of Children Campaign