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.

HIFF Jr. Educational Initiatives are made possible in part by

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Since 2008, HamptonsFilm has produced a student Film Camp in partnership with Guild Hall and Southampton Arts Center.

Students from ages 8 to 15 make their own short films in one week, while learning screenwriting, directing, acting, producing and editing from industry professionals. At the end of the week, campers screen their short films for friends and family on the big screen—complete with a red carpet entry and onstage photos and Q&As. 

Created by HamptonsFilm Executive Director Anne Chaisson, the student filmmaking workshops provide a creative outlet and a thorough introduction to digital moviemaking to help kids launch their own projects for fun, passion, and perhaps even a future career.

Summer 2020

East Hampton


  • Southampton Arts Center: Dates to come


Thanks to underwriting by The Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, HamptonsFilm presents five $1000 cash 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.

Scholarship Winners, 2019
Bridgehampton High School: Monasia Street
East Hampton High School: Steven Verdugo
Pierson High School (Sag Harbor): Brooke Canavan
The Ross School: Gega Ugulava
Southampton High School: Asia Cofield

Scholarship Winners, 2018
Bridgehampton High School: Milo Youngerman
East Hampton High School: August Gladstone
Pierson High School (Sag Harbor): Alexandra Dudley
Ross School: Joe Zanchelli
Southampton High School: Gabriel “Gabe” Guimaraes

Scholarship Winners, 2017
Bridgehampton High School: Sarahi Negrete
East Hampton High School: Gaby Arevalo
Pierson High School (Sag Harbor): Eve Bishop
Ross School: Amanda Mintz
Southampton High School, Sophie Rhind


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 Neopolitical 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.

Support for these programs is provided by Moxie Foundation, which aims to infuse entrepreneurial “moxie” into the greatest challenges facing society today.


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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

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