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Film and Television Summer Institute – Film Production

Learn the aesthetics, techniques, and practices of filmmaking from story pitch to post-production

An intensive program that shapes the filmmakers of tomorrow in the heart of Los Angeles

As of 6/15/2024, the Film Production Summer Institute: Session A is closed to new applications.

The UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute gives 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.

This intensive immersion filmmaking workshop is intended for beginning and intermediate filmmakers of all ages (18+). Students work together on short film projects as they are introduced to the aesthetics, techniques and practices of filmmaking. Students work closely with UCLA faculty to study directing, cinematography, editing, production and creative collaboration while using UCLA equipment and sound stages.

The UCLA Film & Television Summer Institute shapes the filmmakers of tomorrow right in the heart of Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world.

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.

Program Fee
Ackerman Student Union Fee
Ackerman / Kerckhoff Seismic Fee
Wooden Center Fee
Undergraduate Student Association Fee
Document Fee (incoming UCLA students only)
Total Estimated Fees:
* Fees only apply for certain student types

Meet your instructors

Instructors for the UCLA Film and Television Summer Institutes are UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media faculty.

Melissa Finell

Instructor – FTV 178 Section 1 (Film Production)

Melissa Finell is an award-winning director and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. SENSITIVITY TRAINING, her first feature film, had its world premiere at the LA Film Festival, where it was named a “Can’t Miss” film by the Hollywood Reporter. Her script for SENSITIVITY TRAINING won an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Production Grant and a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award. The film went on to screen at numerous festivals worldwide including Woodstock, Frameline, and TIFF Inside Out. It was released by Random Media in partnership with The Orchard and is currently available on Prime and all major platforms.

Mel’s short films have screened for festival audiences around the world. “Disaster Preparedness” was a Semi-Finalist for the Student Academy Awards and has been broadcast on PBS Stations across the country as part of KQED’s “Film School Shorts” series. The film premiered at Palm Springs International ShortFest, where it was named an Audience Favorite and screened in the “Best of the Fest” program. The film also screened at Mill Valley, Cleveland, Frameline, and NewFest; it won the “Best Short Film” Jury Award at the Seattle Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and was selected for “Best of Fest” at Outfest.

Mel has written feature screenplays for Lionsgate, Gunpowder & Sky, CJ Entertainment, and Tyler Perry’s 34th Street Films. Originally from New York, she received her B.A. in Gender Studies at Smith College and studied sketch comedy writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Mel is a graduate of UCLA’s MFA program in Film and Television Directing, a former Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow, a Ryan Murphy Television Half Initiative mentee, and she recently completed the Warner Brothers Discovery episodic directing workshop. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America West and is represented by CAA and Writ Large.

Kelly Pike

Instructor – FTV 178 Section 2 (Film Production)

Kelly Pike is a writer/director who is a recipient of the DGA “Award of Outstanding Directorial Achievement”, included on Austin Film Festival’s “25 Screenwriters to Watch” list, and a graduate of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW+).

With an established career in fine arts she first expanded her practice into filmmaking by working with documentarian Albert Maysles. She then went on to earn her M.F.A in Narrative Film & Television from UCLA.

Her films have screened at festivals around the world, winning awards from the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Savannah (SCAD) Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival, Bahamas Film Festival, and many more. Her latest short film, PICTURE DAY, is currently qualified for the 2024 Academy Awards.

Other than festivals, her work has also earned recognition from PBS, NATO, Vimeo, the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, the Puffin Foundation, and Short of The Week.

She is currently based in Los Angeles.

Lia Lenart

Instructor – Film TV 122D Editing (Film Production)

Lia believes that stories give us a structure to help us understand our experiences, values, identity and place in history. She is drawn towards complex stories that challenge stereotypes and avoid simple conclusions. Originally from Cambridge, MA, Lia graduated with honors from Harvard. As a Directing MFA at UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television, she was a UCLA TFT/Telluride FilmLAB Fellow, and received the Streisand Sony Fellowship and Jim Morrison Film Award. Her thesis, Cassandra, won the Women in Film Verna Fields Memorial Fellowship, Lynn Weston Fellowship in Film, Adrienne Shelley Award, and Caucus Foundation Grant. Her final year in the program, she was selected to direct one of three UCLA Theater-Film collaboration films. She is an Associate Editor on the upcoming feature doc “Would You Hide Me?” and an Instructor at Loyola Marymount University and UCLA Film School Summer Sessions.

Paul Cannon

Instructor – FTV 122E Digital Cinematography (Film Production)

Paul Cannon is a cinematographer and instructor of cinematography based in LA. As a cinematographer, Cannon has worked with companies such as Netflix and MTV, and his work has screened at festivals such as Sundance and SXSW. He has been nominated for a number of cinematography awards, including an ASC Heritage Award. Most recently, the web series APRICOT premiered at Slamdance 2020, and the feature film THE LONG SHADOW won Best Louisiana Feature at The New Orleans Film Festival 2019 and will be distributed on digital platforms in April 2020. Commitments to teaching, mentorship, and support of diverse voices and stories drive much of Cannon’s work. He earned his MFA from UCLA, and continues to be an engaged member of the school’s filmmaking community.