Film Workshop

San Francisco Art & Film for Teenagers

A comprehensive film studies program for teens and college students. Offers a weekly filmmaking workshop October-June and a 9-day summer film intensive.

THE FILM WORKSHOP is offered annually is open to all Bay Area students, from late middle school through college. The Workshop meets on Sundays between 11 and 6:30pm, from October through mid-June, culminating in a student film festival celebrating their work.

To apply, fill out this application form. Applications are due before September 30th.

Each year, new students are introduced to the fundamentals of professional filmmaking while returning students refine and deepen their skills. The Workshop acts as producer, helping students to build a portfolio of work that will help them get into film schools and develop a foundation of skills – looking, seeing, thinking, doing - that will serve them throughout their careers.

The program includes a series of eight video lesson films created by Ronald Chase, Cornerstones of Film Making. Students' first assignments are to make short (1-2 minute) films that show an understanding of the principles set forth in the lessons.

The Film Workshop is offered for a nominal fee of $2000, non-refundable. Students accepted into the program will need a digital camera with a manual adjustment option. If they do not have one, their cell phones can be used for their first films. Students who demonstrate skill and commitment to the workshop can apply for scholarships.

Ronald Chase has created teaching tools that include a series of excellent videos that teach filmmaking in the context of film history. He’s enthusiastic, very knowledgeable and a fine teacher — I highly recommend his classes.
— Eleanor Coppola
Director, Hearts of Darkness
In my 43 years of working in both narrative and documentary films I am more impressed with his graduates than any other program I’ve seen.
— Vivien Hillgrove
Editor, Unbearable Lightness of Being
& The Right Stuff

Our Staff

Ronald Chase has led the workshop for 20 years. He is a working artist with a 50-year career in developing film and projection for theater (opera); two feature films and 30 years as critic at large on public radio (KALW-FM). A detailed outline of his career is available on Wikipedia.

Isaiah Dufort is the writing mentor. He is the author of a couple dozen short films, including the Film Workshop’s The Fish and Two Photographs, both winners of awards from the National Academy of Television. He also teaches playwriting in the creative writing department at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts High School.

Jesse Filipko is the production and editing mentor. He has written and directed some two-dozen short films and a radio program with his production team, Agent Xenon. He has seven years experience as a commercial producer and videographer.

Amy Bergstein is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker from San Francisco. Amy studied at School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been working as a freelance videographer and editor in NYC and the Bay Area since 2015. Amy has worked as a video instructor at the Bay Area Video Coalition, a freelance videographer, and an art workshop facilitator at the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive.

Thomas Roberdeau is a professional filmmaker who has been writing and directing films for 45 years.