Chicago Filmmakers Announces Tuition-Free Workforce Training Program | Chicago Reel


The non-profit media arts organization Chicago Filmmakers has announced that it will offer a new tuition-free program Chicago Filmmakers Workforce Training Program.

The all-new educational program is supported in part by funding from the Illinois Film Bureau through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the National Endowment for the Arts and The Walt Disney Company.

This tuition-free training program offers the opportunity to develop the technical and practical skills needed for entry-level work in film production. The Workforce Training Program is an exciting new initiative that provides real-world experience and hands-on exercises to prepare participants for production assistant and related jobs that are in high demand in television productions and local Illinois movie theaters.

Chicago Filmmakers Workforce Training Program will provide over 100 hours of instruction and hands-on film production training from mid-July to end of August, with evening and weekend class schedules. Students must complete 80 hours of basic training and one or more specialized workshops.

The organization is currently seeking twelve entrants who are passionate about film and television and committed to building long-term careers in Illinois’ burgeoning entertainment industry. The program aims to increase the participation of women, gender non-conforming people, LBGTQ+ people and people of color in the local creative workforce. Applications are open until the deadline of Monday, June 27 at 11:59 p.m. CT and interested candidates can apply on line.

The objectives of the program will be:

  • Educate attendees on production processes, safety procedures, paperwork, established terminology, and other protocols necessary to prepare for the workplace.
  • Expose participants to a variety of entry-level film crew positions and help launch lasting careers in Illinois’ booming film and television industry.
  • Connect participants with local productions and industry decision makers through field trips, mentoring and networking opportunities.
  • Encourage diversity and inclusiveness of the workforce in local productions and in the Illinois entertainment industry as a whole.

The program is open to all Illinois resident applicants who meet the criteria below and specifically aims to support workforce diversity in terms of race, gender identity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Application criteria include:

  • Young professionals entering the film industry
  • Adults wishing to enter or return to the creative labor market
  • Must be 18 or older to apply
  • Must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED)
  • Must be a current Illinois resident
  • No previous film and television experience is required

Sessions including an introduction to the film industry, production assistant (PA) training, a digital filmmaking bootcamp, and career/resume/resume coaching, as well as an assistant production desk coordinator, a 2nd 2nd assistant director and an assistant production accountant will all be available for participants. All workshops will take place at the Chicago Filmmakers facility located in the Edgewater neighborhood.

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