With so much pressure on students to succeed, pursuing your dream may seem overwhelming and even impossible at times. This is especially the case with students pursuing their dreams in film in rural areas, where financial matters may prevent them from getting the experience they need to thrive. For the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media (COFTM), this idea was simply unacceptable, prompting them to create the student educational grant program, providing students with scholarships allowing them to go after their dreams.
COFTM are helping high school students from across the State of Colorado to attend film programs, including the University of Colorado Denver’s LYNX media camp, a summer immersion program for high school students meant to act as a preview for the programs provided by the College of Arts & Media. The two-week LYNX camp exposes students to the skills they need to pursue and thrive a career in film and music. Over the years, COFTM has supported students from Crested Butte, Lafayette, Longmont and Greeley. The scholarships help the students attend the camp and get a jumpstart on their future careers, reinforcing a dream that may have seemed unattainable.
In addition to providing the means necessary to attend LYNX camp, COFTM supports students and recent graduates to with scholarships to attend the Set-Ready PA certified workshop with Furious Films, a 2-day workshop for entry level production assistants ready to get their start in film, TV or digital media production. This workshop teaches people how to navigate a production set, gain experience with essential equipment and to understand job responsibilities, production lingo and paperwork. Not only is COFTM a co-sponsor of this program, but they also provide scholarships to future filmmakers from rural areas to attend, giving them the skills necessary to start their careers.
The scholarships COFTM provides isn’t just for those looking to attend a workshop. In 2015, students from the Ute Mountain Tribe in Towoac wrote, performed, directed, and produced a short film called “Escape,” discussing the struggles and suffering of Native American youth, such as poverty, drug use and epidemic suicide. COFTM provided a scholarship to these students, allowing them to attend a screening of their film at the University of Colorado Denver. The screening helped establish the students within the film industry, as they were later invited to the LA Skins Fest, known as the largest Native American film festival in the United States, and won the Best Student film award.
Financial boundaries should never stop someone from going after what they want, and COFTM is here to help. No matter your age, background or goal, COFTM is giving people a chance to enter the film industry by taking down those financial and physical barriers and opening up a future in films.