History & Mission
Reel Works provides free filmmaking programs for NYC Youth. Using a unique, one-on-one mentoring model, we challenge at-risk youth to tell their stories and have their voices heard. In turn, they build vital skills of literacy, leadership and self-confidence to create productive futures.
Founded in 2001, Reel Works serves over 750 youth annually from middle school through high school and beyond, developing them as young artists and citizens and helping them graduate, get into college, and launch careers in media.
Reel Works is the only digital media educator and filmmaking program that matches teens 1:1 with professional filmmaker-mentors to tell their stories and have their voices heard. It’s a powerful combination that changes young lives while creating startling and original films that have been seen by millions of viewers worldwide.
What began as a single workshop at the Prospect Park YMCA in Park Slope, Brooklyn has grown to become one of the leading youth media organizations in the United States. More than anything, Reel Works is a community active learners where young people and adult mentors meet, collaborate and inspire one another to succeed.
If you are New Yorker aged 12-18 with a story to tell, we encourage you to apply for our free after school filmmaking programs.
If you are a filmmaker interested in helping shape the next generation of media makers, please consider our volunteer mentor program.
If you care about developing young artists and training a diverse workforce for the media industry, donate today and help us keep our programs open and free for NYC teens.
And if you love great storytelling – we invite you to check out our student films – which have won countless awards worldwide.