Chicago Filmmakers offers online filmmaking courses


Chicago Filmmakers, a community media arts organization based in Chicago, announces today the launch of several online filmmaking courses for adults and youth starting in April. In response to the social distancing measures imposed in mid-March, Chicago Filmmakers is adapting several of its filmmaking courses for the web to continue serving the film community with affordable educational programs.

The non-profit organization provides low-cost education and services for aspiring and established filmmakers. In addition to film making courses, the organization provides a variety of programs including film exhibition and festivals, production funding and fiscal sponsorship, equipment and space rentals, as well as professional development and networking opportunities.

“We’re excited to see how this transition to online learning will open doors for creative collaboration and exchange with filmmaking students in different cities and regions,” commented Chicago Filmmakers’ Executive Director, Brenda Webb. “As an arts education institution, facilitating connections between creative people is at the core of our mission, and this change will allow us to continue to do what we do best.” 


Comedy Filmmaking is a four-week intermediate filmmaking workshop that covers the creative concepts behind producing comedy and dramedy films. Students will learn about crafting a story, scripting, budgeting, casting, lighting and cinematography, incorporating improv, film marketing and more! This course is taught by indie comedy filmmaker Jon Silver who specializes in directing comedy films of all sizes that are independent, frugal, and fun. This class will be held online via a secure Zoom meeting room on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30PM starting on April 21 and through May 12. 

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Beginning in mid-April, adults can enroll in Producing, Developing the Documentary, and Screenwriting, with more classes to be announced in the coming weeks. Both online and in-person courses are taught by award-winning industry professionals and university film professors working in the field. No prerequisites are required and all course materials are provided as part of the course fee. Adult online course offerings are held once a week in a secure password protected Zoom meeting room. 


For youth and teens, CF is offering a virtual “after-school” program to supplement at-home learning for youth and teens interested in exploring their creativity through filmmaking. Parents can enroll their children ages 11-16 in Online Youth Screenwriting, which is designed to provide young writers with the fundamental tools needed to bring their stories to life.

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Over the course of six-weeks, students will engage in a variety of writing exercises and collaborate with peers on projects. Starting April 13th, this course will meet twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 pm CST, in a secure password protected Zoom meeting room. Similar programs covering other filmmaking topics are being developed and will be announced soon. 

To supplement online learning and provide a virtual way for filmmakers to connect with other creatives in this time of social isolation, Chicago Filmmakers has launched Film Community Conversations, a weekly series of casual video conversations centered on a topic related to filmmaking. The event is free but registration is required through CF’s website to ensure a secure meeting room.

Register HERE