SBIFF's Film Camp | Credit: Courtesy

Summertime means summer camp, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, in partnership with the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, recently wrapped its signature Film Camp. The camp is truly one of a kind, and unlike so many, it is offered free to 30 participants each year, teens who might not otherwise be able to experience sleepaway camp.

After descending upon the wilds of Camp Whittier, located in the front country hills of the Los Padres Forest, not only did the participants get to enjoy all the quintessential camp activities that you’d expect — swimming, hiking, s’mores, ghost stories, a ropes course, and more — they also enjoyed pro-level filmmaking workshops on writing, directing, cinematography, and special effects and even worked together with other campers to produce films of their own, which they screened for friends and family on the camp’s final night.

SBIFF’s Film Camp | Credit: Courtesy

“It was incredible to see the campers gain confidence in their ideas and watch as they developed their stories from storyboards to actual completed films,” said SBIFF’s Education Manager, Claire Waterhouse. “Not only did our Film Campers experience a week out in nature and participate in team-building activities, but they took their first steps into the world of filmmaking and excelled. We can’t wait to see what they do next and hope they continue to tell stories.”

The program is a darling of the Film Festival, and for good reason — teenagers have a lot to say, but they aren’t often encouraged to say it, and Film Camp helps them find their voice.

For more info on Film Camp and SBIFF’s other Education Programs, visit

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