Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute


Session A
June 18 - July 3, 2021

Session B
July 7 - July 22, 2021

Session C
July 26 - Aug 10, 2021

UCLA Course Credit: FILM TV 72
Two Week Online Program



The UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute shapes the filmmakers of tomorrow from the heart of Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world.

The Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute gives high school students from across the country and around the globe an unparalleled opportunity to study filmmaking at one of the most prestigious film schools in the world. The program is a two-week, intensive production workshop designed for highly motivated rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students are immersed in the creativity and technique of cinematic storytelling and challenged to create entertaining narrative projects.

  • Students work on film exercises using an equipment kit (purchased separately from the program fee), which is theirs to keep

  • Students work both individually and collaboratively on short film projects as they are introduced to the aesthetics, techniques, and practices of filmmaking

  • The program curriculum consists of a combination of lectures, practical camera exercises, guest speakers, and post-production labs

  • All films will be screened at the end of the workshop. Friends and family are welcome!

  • This workshop carries 3 units of UCLA college credit

  • Program activities include film screenings and high-profile guest speakers

This is an intensive immersion experience for beginning filmmakers designed to form a basic understanding of the aesthetic, creative, and logistical decisions involved in making a film. While previous experience in digital filmmaking is not required, this is a disciplined and rigorous program and requires a significant time commitement. Please refer to the program schedule for details.


Program Eligibility

To apply for the Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Open to students enrolled in grades 9th - 12th in Spring 2021 and Spring 2021 High School Graduates

Students who do not meet the minimum program requirements should not apply and should consider other summer opportunities.

Application Requirements

To participate in the Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute, students must apply and receive acceptance into the program.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete the following:

  • Responses to the following essay prompts:
    • Why you would like to participate in the program, and what you expect to gain from the experience. No more than 200 words.
    • What prior experience, if any, do you have in digital filmmaking? Include both academic coursework and extracurricular activities. Previous experience in digital filmmaking is not a requirement. No more than 200 words.
    • Filmmaking requires creative collaboration at every stage. What qualifications do you have that make you a good collaborator? No more than 300 words.
  • An unofficial transcript confirming a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Optional: one letter of recommendation from a high school instructor verifying your ability to successfully participate in a disciplined and rigorous program. Please either upload the letter after submitting your registration form OR have your recommender email the letter to (PDF format with your 5-digit registration number).

Students will be notified within 2 weeks of an acceptance decision.

NOTE: Students should compose the statement of purpose before beginning the online registration process. There will be text fields on the online registration form of which the response text can be copied.

How to Apply

Application for the Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute can be done conveniently online using the steps below.

  1. Access the Summer Institute Online Registration Form starting February 15. Read all terms and conditions, then scroll to the bottom and “Continue to Registration”.
  2. Complete the first page of the online registration form by answering all mandatory questions, then, select “Continue” at the end of the first page.
  3. Provide responses to all questions on the second page of the online registration form, including your statement of purpose (see Application Requirements above for more information)
  4. Submit your registration form.
  5. Once your form is submitted, you will be directed to the Retrieve Registration page. Select “File Uploads” to upload your transcript and optional letter of recommendation or have your recommender send their letter to along with your five-digit registration number (see Application Requirements above for more information)
  6. Allow up to 2 weeks for the program instructor(s) to review your application. An email will be sent to you with the official decision.
  7. If accepted to the program, follow the steps in your acceptance email to make payment of the $350 non-refundable registration fee and reserve your space in the program.

A space in the program is not reserved for you until valid payment of the non-refundable registration fee* is completed. Those who are not prepared to pay after program acceptance can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make payment, however you risk losing a space in the program if the program reaches capacity prior to the ability to pay.

The registration fee is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins.

If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the waitlist, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If registering after May 1, full payment of all fees including the non-refundable registration fee but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required to reserve your space in the program.

How to Make Registration Changes

Already submitted the online registration form but need to make a change or finish your registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. To retrieve registration, please complete the steps below:

  1. Access the Summer Institute Retrieve Registration Form here.
  2. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address. Fill out the form, then “Submit”.


Student Quotes

“Attending the UCLA Film and Television Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute was one of the best decisions I could have made.  Working in the film industry has always been my biggest dream, and this program made me even more excited to have a career in this industry one day! The instructors were absolutely amazing, and I made friends that I still text with every day. Living at UCLA for two weeks was also super cool.  It’s a once in a life time opportunity that no one should pass up!”.

-Emma Romano (2018)


“As an international student seeking to study in the US, the program was a great opportunity to get some insight on what life at a US university was like. I met a ton of friends from all over the world who shared the same passions as me, and we even got to hold our own casting sessions! Although it was a rigorous and demanding two weeks, I learned a lot about the nuances of film production. Whether you've been filmmaking for your whole life or have never held a camera in your life, this program caters to everyone. I would definitely recommend this program to any high schoolers looking for something not only fun but also enriching to do over the summer.”

-Nadya Suprobo (2018)


“It was a great work, effort and experience to shoot a short movie from the beginning till the end all by ourselves, (even the editing) we really worked day and night but every minute of this effort was worth it.  İn the end when we all watched our work on big screen with our families we all could not believe what we had done.  Great team work.  Great friendship.  Great teachers.  Wonderful university.  İf you are interested in film making best place to be.”

-Kaan Cakir (2018)


“One of the best investments of my time. Being able to build friendships with people from all over the world who all share the same passion was truly an amazing experience.”

-Kiernan Dunn (2018)


“To sum up how I felt about the program, I would have to say that, “the digital filmmaking program gave me a glimpse into the magic behind the film industry”. It was also “extremely educational considering it was only two weeks long”.

-Ella Greene (2018)


“If you want to get involved in filmmaking, but you don’t know in which aspect, this program will give you the tools you need to decide. If you already know, this program will help you become an expert.”

-Tucker Hale (2018)


“I hope I get to see everyone in this program succeed and make amazing works for the eyes of the world.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“This program is so amazing and I’m very lucky to have had this opportunity. I met many wonderful people that I hope to stay in touch with and made memories that will stay with me forever. Thank you for this experience!”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“The course really taught me a bunch of new things of film making. For example, I learned casting and pitch delivery. I usually make my films on my own, but pitch delivery is definitely something every film maker should know about… The one thing I love about the program the most were my fellow classmates, and hopefully, future collaborators. Everyone was just so alive and into the program. It was great being with a ton of people who share the same interest as I do for college.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“This program was the best part about my summer and I definitely would recommend it to future filmmakers!”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“I absolutely loved the program. I learned a lot from the teachers and from the experience, and built up my network. I also had a chance to meet some of the coolest people ever, who were also in the program, and the course really allowed us to bond and share our creative talents. Highly recommended this program to some friends.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“Absolutely amazing experience. Loved the staff. Loved the kids. Loved the city! Loved the school.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“I had an amazing time here at UCLA. I could not have imagined a better, and more useful way to spend these two weeks of my summer.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“I very much enjoyed my time spent at UCLA. The course was beneficial for my future in film and, I have grasped more knowledge of what Film school will be like.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2018


“I thought this program was great. I learned a lot about film making and loved working with the equipment. I liked that the other students were also really into it and shared a goal of learning to create an awesome final product.”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2017


“I had an amazing experience and really got a taste of what life at UCLA would be like. I wish I would've applied last year too so I could've had two summers at UCLA!”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2017

“I had an amazing time at the UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute. I went in knowing I wanted to pursue film and walked out being ready to go to film school. I am very thankful I was able to experience such a great time with good people, amazing teachers and learn so much!”

-Digital Filmmaking Student 2017












Program Dates

JUNE 18 - JULY 3, 2021

JULY 7 - JULY 22, 2021

JULY 26 - AUGUST 10, 2021

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15 - APRIL 1: Summer Scholars Support for California High School Students Application Period

FEBRUARY 15: Registration Opens

MAY 1: Payment due in full

JUNE 15: Refund Deadline - Refund Deadline for Summer Institutes

JUNE 18 - JULY 3: Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute (A)

JULY 7-22: Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute (B)

JULY 26 - AUGUST 10: Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute (C)

UCLA Summer Sessions 2021 will be remote. Learn More.