Now in its 13th year, OFF THE BLOCK is an annual month-long summer documentary filmmaking workshop organized by UC Riverside. OFF THE BLOCK exposes high school student filmmakers to the history of film and the documentary format as well as equipping them with the artistic concepts and technical skills necessary to complete their own documentary. Beyond learning practical filmmaking skills, students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and team building, as well as positive self-expression through the arts. The award-winning program was created in direct response to the profound need for youth arts initiatives in the Riverside, CA area and is the only summer media literacy and documentary filmmaking program in the region. It is offered completely free-of-charge and all necessary filmmaking tools and supplies are provided to students.
It is staffed by curators, faculty, and educators from both UC Riverside and Riverside City College. OFF THE BLOCK staff, through their teaching experience in higher education, draw upon the CA state educational curriculum to develop effective and dynamic workshops and activities to impart film and media training onto students. During the program, students break into groups of 3-4 and are joined by a mentor (a program staff-member) who guides them through the filmmaking process. While working with their mentor and group partners, students also regularly convene all together to review footage, discuss ideas, and workshop their films. Beyond learning practical filmmaking skills, students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and team building, as well as positive self-expression through the arts.
Over the past 10 years, the stories and projects that our high school students have produced have tackled difficult issues and revealed unique histories. These stories are told through a multitude of documentary techniques but have as their backbone stories from local citizens and community members.
Applications for Summer 2022 have now closed. Applications are processed in a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that while the program seeks to enroll as many students as possible, space is limited. An application does not guarantee a spot in the program. Please visit this page in the near future about updates regarding future workshops.