HIFF Jr. Educational Initiatives

HIFF Jr. focuses on ethics and compassion, diversity and international relations, and the ever-evolving craft of film.

Education has been a hallmark program for HamptonsFilm since the very first year, 1993. From summer filmmaking workshops to year-round screenings and student film clubs, HIFF Jr. has exposed tens of thousands of students to a world of diverse realities, while empowering them to recognize film as an accessible medium for creativity, and for making their voices heard.

In our summer filmmaking camps for ages 8-15, and with the Hamptons as a backdrop, kids plan a movie idea; learn to run a production set on location, using professional video and sound equipment; and edit the footage using professional software, adding sound and special effects.

Summer 2024

July 8-12 in East Hampton

The week starts off with campers brainstorming and writing a script for a short film. Once the idea is set, campers start planning the project, selecting acting roles, and scouting locations. Campers may make costumes and props based on the idea, plus there is a day dedicated to learning about acting and how to direct actors on set. Next comes production, when campers will rotate through the major roles: director, camera assistant, actor and more, utilizing professional technology.

The filmmakers come away with their very own short film, made from start to finish!

Click to register for East Hampton.

And then, please make payment using these links:

• Payment for Filmmaking Jr. in East Hampton
Payment for Filmmaking Sr. in East Hampton

Questions? Contact filmcamp@hamptonsfilmfest.org


650 Compassion Justice 3HamptonsFilm’s elementary school program is based upon the themes of Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights, as inspired by our signature program of the same name. Each year, HamptonsFilm curates “red carpet” film screenings for hundreds of students in grades 3-6 in order to inspire empathy for animals and humans and respect for all living things.

Students are treated to a program of short films created by professionals, local students and youth from around the world. Student filmmakers then participate in a post-screening Q&A.

650 Compassion Justice cat screen 2“We made this movie to show everyone it doesn’t matter what you’re like or where you’re from; you can still be our friend.”A local middle school filmmaker, to a wide-eyed elementary school audience

Local high schoolers are invited to help produce and photograph the screenings, and teachers are provided with educational materials for post-screening discussion in the classroom.

HIFF Jr also provides an in-school documentary filmmaking course with a multi-month program targeted at having pairs make their own documentaries. 

650 film club kid with cameraHamptonsFilm also infuses animal rights education into our work with the 5th grade film club at John Marshall Elementary School in East Hampton. The program partners with LTV (Local Television Inc.) to help the club make its own professional-style movie featuring local animal organizations such as ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons) and Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue.

And in partnership with the Neo-Political Cowgirls, high school girls and boys can participate in an after school filmmaking course that allows them to freely express their thoughts through the medium of film.


650 Plural Plus Awais Catalog Pic

During the annual Film Festival, HamptonsFilm welcomes nearly 1000 local, middle, and high school students to participate in the annual film festival to view short films made by international youth on diversity, migration, inclusion and human rights. Students are further engaged with a post-screening Q&A session with attending filmmakers and educators.

The short films are made by international youth. Most of the films are chosen in conjunction with the Plural+ International Film Festival, a joint venture of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration.

Participants in this program include East Hampton Middle School students, whose teachers have expertly integrated this program into their yearly 7th grade curriculum. Their students use the Plural+ films they see at HIFF as inspiration for their own films about diversity, tolerance, migration and inclusion. Some of the student films are screened later that year for other middle schoolers and for elementary school students at our “Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights” in-school screenings.

“It is part of our mission to enlighten our audiences with issues happening both worldwide and within our own backyards. The art of film has always been a catalyst in change for a better world and understanding the human condition, and these films provide the basis for open discussion, plus informative curricula for the classroom.” — Anne Chaisson, HIFF Executive Director


HamptonsFilm presents scholarships to graduating seniors in high schools throughout the Hamptons. Our scholarship winners are primarily HamptonsFilm volunteers who exhibit good character, academic and artistic excellence, a strong work ethic, and great promise as emerging creators and/or arbiters of film. Winners additionally receive ticket packages for the October festival.

For more information, please contact the HamptonsFilm offices via email or phone: 631.324.4600.