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Session Dates: June 2 – July 19, 2017
Application Deadline: April 15

Please note that in addition to the online application below, you will need to supply:

√  Name and email address for a teacher/mentor who has agreed to provide a letter of recommendation

√  A signed Parent/Guardian Commitment form (Click here to download).

Youth Documentary Academy (“YDA”): YDA is an intensive, seven-week summer documentary filmmaking fellowship serving teenagers in Southern Colorado from ages 14-18. From initial concept to final edit, you will learn the process of documentary filmmaking, including hands-on training with digital cameras, sound recording, lighting and interviewing, and digital editing. Working in teams, you will produce your own short documentary on topics relevant to your life and/or the lives of your family and friends. A premiere screening of your work will be organized in the Fall.

In the YDA program, you will be asked to write about and share personal stories about your own life experiences and those of your family. YDA is a fun – but demanding – experience. You will get to meet professional filmmakers, screen award-winning documentary films, and work with other aspiring young filmmakers in the area. Teamwork and dedication will be essential to participation in the program.

If accepted into the program, your fellowship includes full tuition and access to state of the art digital filmmaking equipment (which will be available to you for teaching tutorials and to check out for your own film projects). The value of this fellowship exceeds $3,500.

To help us know more about you, please fill out the following questions:

Applicant Information:

Date of Birth:
If you are currently attending school, which one:

Applicant Questions:

1. Explain in three to four sentences why you want to be a part of the Youth Documentary Academy this summer.

2. Do you have a personal or family issue or a social theme you would like to explore in the Youth Documentary Academy. Why do you think this issue is important to explore as a filmmaker?

3. Have you ever used a video camera or any digital editing equipment?

If yes, please explain. (Please note you do not need to have any prior film experience to be accepted to YDA!)

4. Working cooperatively in a production team is an essential requirement for making documentaries. What skills and qualities do you have that would make you an excellent member of a YDA production team? Please list any examples of how you’ve shown respect for others’ differences.

5. Documentary filmmaking is about telling stories in creative and compelling ways. In four sentences, or more, please describe your favorite creative endeavor (writing, drawing, photography, dance, painting, music, filmmaking, acting, etc). Why do you like to express yourself through this creative medium?

6. (Optional) Please attach a sample of some of your creative work (could be artwork, writing, video, photography, etc) below (Max file size: 3MB per file). You can also send files directly to tomshep@comcast.net, be sure to include your name in the email.

If you’d prefer to provide an online link to your work, please enter the details below:

7. Please provide the name and email address of the mentor or teacher who has agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. The YDA staff will contact them via email and request that they complete an online recommendation form.

Teacher/Mentor Name:
Teacher/Mentor Email Address:
Teacher/Mentor Phone Number:

8. How did you hear about the Youth Documentary Academy?

These are OUR stories. I’m amazed at what we had access to in a seven-week program. YDA has helped me in so many ways.