Free Film Classes and Festival 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 

BAPA and 19th Ward Mutual Aid are sponsoring a free, virtual afterschool film course for youth in grades 5-12. For a little over an hour, starting at 5 p.m., Tues., May 4 through May 18, participants will learn the nuts and bolts of producing a polished, short film. They will also have the opportunity to chronicle their pandemic experiences, a nuanced focus that few other film courses for youth may prioritize. 

“Young people have great stories to tell, particularly about the pandemic. This course will give them that platform as well as an opportunity to virtually socialize with kids from different schools,” said Tim Noonan, 19th Ward Mutual Aid founder. The film course is Noonan’s brainchild. He believes this course and festival will provide a sorely needed outlet for youth.  

The course will offer participants the chance to use their talents to create stories that address how they’ve dealt with the isolation or the impact of the pandemic. Storytelling strategies, storyboarding, acting and directing, and film production and editing are topics that will be covered.  

A backtoschool film festival will feature student work from the course. Some participants who are also high school upperclassmen and applying to college might also use the work they produce in the course to bolster their college portfolios. An additional course asset is that Noonan, who will facilitate, plans to invite a few movie-television industry professionals to offer their insights.   

Any young person who has a desire to learn film may sign up for the class.  

“Our virtual door is open to anyone who wants to share their story in film,” Noonan said. A date has not been set for the film festival. Register for the class and get the link by emailing Noonan, 


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