Off the Block


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 budding 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.

2022 Key Dates

OFF THE BLOCK 2022 will run July 5th through July 29th. Classes will meet in person at UCR ARTS Tuesdays through Fridays, 10am through 4pm. An orientation will be held on June 29th at 7pm. Application information can be found below. Information related to UCR ARTS’ COVID and safety guidelines can be found here.


Applications for the summer 2022 can be found by clicking the “Apply Now” button below. 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. Program staff will contact applicants regarding enrollment in the program on or around June 1st.

Apply Now!


OFF THE BLOCK is open to any high-school aged (13 to 18 year old) student. Applications are processed in a first-come, first-served basis. No prior experience filmmaking experience is necessary! OFF THE BLOCK teaches students everything they need to know to make their first film. However, if your student already has experience with filmmaking, all the better. OFF THE BLOCK has something for everyone – beginners will find an opportunity to explore filmmaking while more experienced students will have the chance to fine-tune their skills under the mentorship the filmmakers and educators that staff our program.

Off the Block for Schools

Off the Block is available as a 6 session workshop for high schools or a series of masterclasses. For rates and more information, please contact Nikolay Maslov at

Sample Work


For more, visit us on vimeo at:


A very special thank you to UCR ARTS, UC Riverside’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS); the City of Riverside; the Riverside Arts Council; the Film, Television, & Video Department at Riverside City College; the Latino Network; and the Spanish Town Heritage Foundation. Photo courtesy of Steffanie Padilla.