Chicago Filmmakers announces tuition-free Workforce Training Program

Workforce Training Program

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

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

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

Chicago Filmmakers’ Workforce Training Program will provide over 100 hours of coursework and hands-on film production training from mid-July through the end of August, with evenings and weekend day class schedules. Students are required to attend 80 hours of both core training plus one or more  specialty workshops.

The organization is currently seeking twelve participants who are passionate about film and TV and are committed to building a long-term career in Illinois’ booming entertainment industry. The program is intended to increase participation of women, gender non-conforming, LBGTQ+, and people of color in the local creative workforce. Applications are open now through the deadline on Monday, June 27 at 11:59 PM CT and interested applicants can apply online.

The program’s goals will:

  • Educate participants on production processes, safety procedures, paperwork, set terminology and other protocols needed for workplace readiness.
  • Expose participants to various entry-level film crew positions and help launch sustainable careers in Illinois’ booming film & TV industry.
  • Connect participants with local productions and industry decision-makers through field trips, mentorship and networking opportunities.
  • Encourage workforce diversity and inclusiveness on 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 is especially intended to support workforce diversity in terms of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Candidate criteria include:

  • Young professionals starting out in the motion picture industry
  • Adults looking to enter or return to the creative workforce
  • Must be age 18 or older to apply
  • Must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED)
  • Must be a current resident of Illinois 
  • No prior experience in film and TV is required

Sessions including an Introduction to the Film Industry, Production Assistant (PA) Training, Digital Filmmaking Bootcamp, and Career Coaching/CV/Resume, along with Assistant Production Office Coordinator, 2nd 2nd Assistant Director, and Assistant Production Accounting Clerk will all be available to participants. All workshops will be held at Chicago Filmmakers’ facility located in the Edgewater neighborhood.

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