The Tribeca Film Fest’s youngest directors

BY NICOLAS FERNANDES  |  “It was probably the most fun I’ve had on my spring break yet,” Ty Cutler,11, said about the filmmaking workshop for middle school students, held by Manhattan Youth for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Thirty students from Downtown middle schools participated — writing, shooting, and editing their films using professional equipment. Some of them even used the GarageBand software to produce their own music scores.

“By the end of the day, we’ll have four finished short films and from what I’ve seen they look really cool,” Theseus Roche. Manhattan Youth’s director of after school programs, said Friday.

Manhattan Youth’s Theseus Roche with middle school students who made their own shorts for the Tribeca Film Festival during Spring Break..

Manhattan Youth’s Theseus Roche with middle school students who made their own shorts for the Tribeca Film Festival during Spring Break..

The free workshop took place at the group’s community center last week and the films were screened at Tribeca Cinemas on Sat., April 19.

There was no time limit for the films, but Roche said most of them would be about six or seven minutes.

“These kids are not just consumers of digital media, but they’re actually producers of it. And their so creative, so talented, they’ve just been a great a group of kids,” Roche said.

Elementary school students also partook in the workshop, making a documentary about the middle school students’ films.

Some of them had experience with filmmaking and some did not. Manhattan Youth ran a smaller workshop in February without the Tribeca Film Festival involvement, in which some of the kids took part.

“It’s a really fun camp and I wanna do it again and again and again and again. I’ve done filmmaking before, but I learned a lot in the five or six days that we’ve been here,” Cutler said.

Aliyah Rigg, 11, said, “I liked being with my group and it’s a lot of fun. I learned never to look at the camera.”

The workshop was funded by Out of School Time funds from the city Dept. of Youth and Community Development. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio’s expanded after-school initiative has been approved, Roche has proposed more funding so that additional schools can participate in Manhattan Youth’s free programs.

He said the after school expansion is important because parents often stop sending their children to childcare, but these students still need to regularly take part in productive activities.

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