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Want to make a film? Mentorship program gives Memphis youth filmmaking opportunity

Applications are open for CrewUp, a mentorship program that pairs youth with professionals to create a film

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Young students have the opportunity to become filmmakers.

Indie Memphis is taking applications for this year's CrewUp Youth Mentorship Program. It pairs students with mentors to create a film of their own.

During the program students do it all: write, shoot, edit and act.

“One of the main things is that it will play to your strengths even if you’re not that experienced," Graham Whitworth said.

Whitworth is a two-time CrewUp participant. He recently won a $5,000 package to go towards a future film project of his own.

Now a student at the University of Memphis, he said his experience reinvigorated his interest in film, his college major.

“Being on set and having to direct and charge and things like that, that really just made me more excited about film," he said. "So at that point, I was like okay this is really what I’m passionate about and what I want to do.”

Indie Memphis, which puts on the annual mentorship program, is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a community around films while building up filmmakers.

There's not a lot of opportunities here in the city currently for students to get involved in filmmaking," Indie Memphis Executive Director Knox Shelton said. "Very few of our schools have that as an opportunity through their arts program. So for us, we see that as filling a need and filling a gap that we have here in the city."

Students that participate in CrewUp get paired into teams of three and have a professional mentor that works with them. The mentorship program provides students $500 and all of the tools to make the film.

Shelton said the experience allows students to tell their stories and understand all the components of filmmaking.

"[In] Memphis there is a local filmmaking community, and it's a really rich and important filmmaking community that we have," he said. "Being able to create those friendships, create those connections, helps bring on that new wave of filmmakers and our filmmaking community that we'll have here in Memphis.

Applications for CrewUp are due Sunday, Nov. 21, by midnight. No experience is needed to participate or apply.

Click here to learn more about CrewUp or to apply.

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