BIFF Presents Free Student Filmmaker Workshops for Teens

Tomorrow’s Steven Spielberg is probably today’s Stateline area middle school or high school student, and the Beloit International Film Festival wants to help launch her or his career.

Seven Workshops Beginning Nov. 9th

Beginning Nov. 9, BIFF will present seven free film workshops for students in grades 6 through 12 at the Beloit and Hedberg Public Libraries. The workshops will teach students how to make a film, from script to screen. They will also get the participants started on actually making a film that can be submitted for review and recognition at the BIFF 2014 Student Filmmakers Showcase.

The workshops are produced in cooperation with the Beloit Public Library and will be led by Drywater Productions, a film company owned and operated by Stephen and Cameron Pickering, professional filmmakers from Janesville, whose films have been showcased at BIFF. Joining them in the hands-on production phase of the workshops is JATV, Janesville’s local public access channel that provides award-winning programs and video equipment training.

Middle School & High School Students Invited

Workshops are open to all area middle school and high school students and will take place on Saturdays, Nov. 9,16, 23 and 30 from Noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Beloit Public Library. With the skills learned in these workshops, the students can then practice filmmaking skill at after-school workshops on Wednesdays, Nov. 13, 20 and 27, at the studios of JATV at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville from 4-6:30p.m. Buses from Beloit Memorial High School will be provided for students needing transportation.

“Film and video are the media with which today’s young people are most comfortable in expressing themselves,” notes Kristin Peterson, BIFF education director and coordinator of the Student Filmmakers programs. “Last year, 18 students completed the workshops and a number of them submitted work to the student Filmmaker Showcase. They had a chance to demonstrate their skills and to meet and question professional filmmakers on hand for BIFF. It was a great experience and may have just set a few of them on a career path.”

Workshop Schedule

  • Sat Nov. 9th | 12:00-2:30 p.m. | “Developing the Story” | Beloit Public Library
  • Wed Nov. 13th | 4:00-6:30 p.m. | Filmmaking Practice | JATV/Hedberg Public
  • Sat Nov 16th | 12:00-2:30 p.m. | “Rules of Filmmaking” | Beloit Public Library
  • Wed Nov. 20th | 4:00-6:30 p.m. | Filmmaking Practice | JATV/Hedberg Public
  • Sat Nov. 23rd | 12:00-2:30 p.m. | “Lighting and Sound” | Beloit Public Library
  • Wed Nov. 27th | 4:00-6:30 p.m. | Filmmaking Practice | JATV/Hedberg Public
  • Sat Nov. 30th | 12:00-2:30 p.m. | “The Edit” | Beloit Public Library


Students who wish to participate need to register.  Student’s interest and information should be emailed to

Students who wish to submit their work for consideration at this year’s Showcase on Feb. 15 at BIFF2014, must submit films by Jan 24. All those who submit films will receive two invitations to the annual Launch and Laurels Party at the Eclipse Center on Feb. 20 at which time they will be honored at the awards presentation.


These programs are made possible by generous grants from Neese family foundation, Beloit foundation and Fairbanks Morse.

Beloit Public LibraryJATVHedberg Public Library

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