Film Institute – Online

Lights. Camera. Action. What’s the story you want to tell?

Do you have an interest in filmmaking? Are you passionate about storytelling? Do you love shooting vlogs and dream about creating the next great movie, documentary, or television series? If so, then the Film Institute is for you. The Film Institute is a four-day, online program designed for high school students to gain an understanding of visual storytelling and the fundamentals of video production. Students will learn about various film forms, virtually visit local museums and businesses to see how professional fiction and non-fiction storytelling is utilized, and create two short films by the end of the week.

At a Glance


Dates: July 19 – 22

Who Can Apply?: 9th – 12th grade students

Program Length: Monday – Thursday

Hours: 12:00 – 4:30 pm (EST)

Program Tuition: $995

Location: Zoom

Apply Now

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Film Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered:

  • Fundamentals of Filmmaking
  • Storyboarding and Screenwriting
  • How to Interview for Documentaries
  • Video Editing
  • Film Festivals

Virtual Experiences:

  • Work to create two short films
  • Watch and analyze different styles of filmmaking
  • Engage in discussion with film professionals
  • Hear about trends and see behind the scenes
  • Virtual field trips to film school and studios

*Virtual experiences are subject to change.

Film Institute Cost

Online | $995

Filmmaking BTS 5
Students participating in the film institute
Students Preparing to film on the quad at WFU

A Day in the Life

  • 12:00 pm – Sign-on & Icebreaker
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch Break
  • 1:00 pm – Welcome from Academic Leader – Professor Thomas Southerland
  • 1:10 pm – Session 1 Topic: Live Panel of Filmmakers
  • 1:40 pm –  Session 1: Q and A
  • 2:10 pm –  Session 1 Break-Out Room
  • 2:25 pm – Break
  • 2:30 pm – Session 2 Topic: Introduction to Screenwriting
  • 3:00 pm – Session 2 – Q&A
  • 3:15 pm – Academic Leader Daily Challenge, Whole Group Discussion – Polls, Q&A
  • 3:30 pm – Deacon Discussion – Wake Forest Student Mentors, Q&A
  • 4:30 pm – Wrap Up from Academic Leader
  • 5:30 pm – Optional Evening Activity (Study Abroad Panel)

*The “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is subject to change.

Meet Your Academic Leader

Thomas Southerland

Academic Leader, Film Institute

Thomas Southerland is a graduate of the American Film Institute and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University where he teaches Screenwriting, Introduction to Film, and Media Production classes. He’s written and directed two award-winning narrative features, Proud Citizen and Fort Maria, several feature documentaries, and numerous short documentaries. His work has screened at film festivals nationwide. He’s currently working on his third narrative feature.