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Tribeca Film Institute Teen Bloggers

The Tribeca Film Institute Film Fellows got to talk to Natalie Portman for two hours, and you didn't. Click here for Festival blogging from our talented teen contributors.


The Tribeca Film Festival is just one branch of many Tribeca-related initiatives taking place downtown. One of our favorites is the Tribeca Film Institute Film Fellows, who are New York City high school students that are selected for an intensive, summer-long filmmaking workshop.

To get a closer glimpse into the life of the Film Fellows, we asked two participating students, Ky-O easha Thomas and Sebastian Sommer, to blog about their activites during the Festival. Here are their stories.


Ky-O easha Thomas: The Museum of the Moving Image was awesome. I think that's like a filmmaker's toy chest! Lots of history and stuff; I was amazed! Panavision rocked and we shot on 35mm film, so pretty fancy stuff. Are all the other film makers jealous? Yeah.....I think so! =]


K-O T: Being apart of Film Fellows has been exciting thus far. Today we met David Koepp; any aspiring screenwriter or filmmaker knows who he is! If you don't, I'm sure he has written one of YOUR favorite movies! He was very cool and down to earth. He basically just inspired me to just keep going.

Sebastian Sommer: Today, after having a nice breakfast and a nice time catching up, we got to meet the writer and director David Koepp. At first I was a little nervous, but quickly brushed off the butterflies and asked a ton of questions. After that we had lunch, followed by a lesson on color correcting at a post production house. We worked with the 35mm footage that we shot yesterday and were promised DVDs of the final product. I can't wait to watch it.


K-O T: Went to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting where we learned everything there is to know about how to get your film made in NYC. It was very informative and fun, I actually learned that none of my prior shooting in The Big Apple had broken any of the sacred shooting rules of the city. I was surprised to learn that even when shooting is involved, the city is still bustling about. I thought that at some point they completely shut things down around the area of use! We also saw a rough edit of our Cityscapes short film; I was very very pleased with the outcome and the music just complemented our awesome shooting! We also got a chance to meet the Boss Lady herself, Jane Rosenthal, who co-founded Tribeca with Robert De Niro.  She was very down to earth and inspiring because she's a woman who takes charge, has passion, and loves and enjoys what she does, and can accomplish anything!

SS: Meeting Jane Rosenthal was really interesting. It was cool to see the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. If she didn't create it, I wouldn't be writing this right now. She gave an insight on the business of being a producer, and even told us about a new movie she is working on.


K-O T: The Film Fellows Welcome Dinner was AMAZING! It was a very nice chilled atmosphere and we got to meet Natalie Portman which was amazing. She is very sweet and stunning, I was very excited that she was there! We also got lots of goodies! Our Filmmaker badges for the Festival, Final cut pro!!! I was so overwhelmed since I aspire to be an editor as well as a producer/director so that really made me happy! I think the dinner was when I finally realized that I am so blessed to have this oppurtunity to meet, see, and work with some of the biggest & most influential names in the Film industry! The food was also very yummy! I am so happy to be a 2009 Film Fellow!

The Tribeca Film Fellows program keeps getting better and better. Today was the most amazing night of my life. I got to meet and talk to Natalie Portman about recent movies that she has seen, and I received my filmmaker badge. I was also given my tickets to Festival screenings, an official Tribeca Film Festival bag, a goodie bag of books and movies, and to top it all off I got a Final Cut Pro software package. I walked to the train, grinning to myself all the way.


K-O T: The tour of Film Forum was very cool and exciting, being that I had never been in a projection booth before! I had never heard of Film Forum until that afternoon, and it's a cute little place for film. I will be visiting again soon! Although Leon Morin, Priest did not put the icing on the cake for me it was still a good experience to see other types of film out there!

SS: Today we went to Film Forum, a very unique theatre that plays classic films on 35mm film. Bruce Goldstein, the Director of Repertory Programming gave us a tour and then we saw Melville’s Leon Morin, Priest and it was pretty interesting. Not one of my favorite films but I thought the experience itself was very cool.


K-O T: The Higher Education Fair was cool and I spoke to many schools like The New School which I had never heard of! It kind of made me re-think if going away for college is what I really want to do when I have so many opportunities right at my doorstep. Also, Sebastin, Austin, and I went to the screening of Guy and Madeline On a Park Bench at the AMC Theater!

It was a GREAT! Movie! It was a great Musical! The music, song, and choreography was put together well and the fact that there was not that much talking was made up for by the intense close up shots that made you feel the emotion of the actor! The way it was shot made it feel like you were there with the actors. A very unique approach I think, I love when films do that, and the fact that it was in black and white was awesome! It was a really great film. I gave it 2 thumbs up!

SS: Today I went to go see a screening of Guy and Madeline On a Park Bench and it was really good. I loved how real and raw it felt, yet it was also a musical. It was very impressive for a first time director who I later got to shake hands with and congratulate. I asked a question during the Q&A. I cannot wait to see the next screening, City Island.



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