(virtual) OFF THE BLOCK 2020

UCR ARTS’ Award-Winning FREE Summer Documentary Workshop for Teens

The award-winning program was created in direct response to the profound need for youth arts initiatives in the Riverside, CA area. Our student filmmakers have gone on to win awards and receive recognition from several film festivals and media organizations such as Sundance, PBS SoCal, Big Bear Film Festival, Riverside International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival and Adobe Youth Voices. OFF THE BLOCK alumni are now students at colleges and universities such as MIT, UCLA, USC, Chapman, Art Center College of Design, Cal Arts, UC Berkeley and UC Riverside, just to name a few.

REQUIREMENTS

OFF THE BLOCK is open to any high school aged aspiring filmmaker. No prior filmmaking experience is needed! The program is free to participants.

DATES

OFF THE BLOCK 2020 will run online from July 1st to July 31st, 2020, meeting Tuesday through Friday. No class will be held on July 3rd. There will be a virtual orientation session on June 24th.

Documentary Filmmaking & Media Literacy

Students work together to create a documentary film over the course of the program! Participants also learn about the history of filmmaking as well as analyze the role cinema has played in our society and culture.

College Level Curriculum

OFF THE BLOCK staff, through their teaching experience in higher education, draw upon state educational curriculums to develop effective and dynamic workshops and activities to impart film and media training onto students.

Positive Self-Expression

Beyond learning practical filmmaking skills, students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and team building, as well as positive self-expression through the arts.

Check out films from past workshops!

About OFF THE BLOCK

What exactly is OFF THE BLOCK?

Now in its 11th year, OFF THE BLOCK is an annual month-long documentary filmmaking workshop organized by UC Riverside. OFF THE BLOCK exposes budding filmmakers to the history of film and the documentary format as well as equipping them with the artistic concepts and technical skills necessary to complete their own documentary. Beyond learning practical filmmaking skills, students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and team building, as well as positive self-expression through the arts. The award-winning program was created in direct response to the profound need for youth arts initiatives in the Riverside, CA area and is the only summer media literacy and documentary filmmaking program in the region. It is offered completely free-of-charge and all necessary filmmaking tools and supplies are provided to students.

OFF THE BLOCK is organized by UC Riverside ARTS. It is staffed by curators, faculty, and educators from both UC Riverside and Riverside City College. During the program, students break into groups of 3-4 and are joined by a mentor (a program staff-member) who guides them through the filmmaking process. While working with their mentor and group partners, students also regularly convene all together to review footage, discuss ideas, and workshop their films.

Over the past 10 years, the stories and projects that our high school students have produced have tackled difficult issues and revealed unique histories. These stories are told through a multitude of documentary techniques but have as their backbone stories from local citizens and community members.

Who is eligible to participate?

OFF THE BLOCK is open to any high-school aged (13 to 18 year old) student. Applications are processed in a first-come, first-served basis. However, because of the virtual format of this year’s workshop, our program will expand to take on a greater number of students than in years past. However, space is limited, so apply today!

When and where will the workshop take place?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing shift towards remote-instruction, OFF THE BLOCK 2020 will happen virtually. Staples of the past programs (such as lectures on the history of film, hands-on workshops on filmmaking techniques, critiques and screenings, etc.) will still occur, however in modified, online formats. Students will convene with team leads (staff and students from UC Riverside and Riverside City College) online, through platforms such as Zoom or Skype.

The workshop will run from July 1st to July 31st, 2020, with sessions occurring Tuesday through Friday, 10am through 4pm. (No class on July 3rd).

Is any equipment required?

No equipment is required aside from a laptop/desktop/tablet with stable internet that the student can regularly access during workshop hours. It is recommended, however not required, that the student has some access to a device (cellphone/tablet) or camera that’s capable of shooting high-definition video (1080p).

Do I need any background/experience with filmmaking?

No prior experience necessary! OFF THE BLOCK teaches students everything they need to know to make their first film. However, if your student already has experience with filmmaking, all the better! OFF THE BLOCK has something for everyone – beginners will find an opportunity to explore filmmaking with more experienced students will have the change to fine-tune their skills under the mentorship the filmmakers and educators that staff our program.

Photos courtesy of Steffanie Padilla.

A very special thank you to UCR ARTS, UC Riverside’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS); the City of Riverside; the Riverside Arts Council; the Film, Television, & Video Department at Riverside City College; the Latino Network; and the Spanish Town Heritage Foundation.

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at arts.ca.gov

Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.