Search:     FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2016

TWN Workshops

TWN has trained hundreds of film and video artists in the past 38 years through its annual TWN Production Workshop. In addition, the organization presents the Evening Workshop Series every fall and spring. Periodically, TWN also presents Senior and youth workshops and various community media workshops in the summer. TWN regularly collaborates on workshops, conferences, seminars and special projects such as The Writers & Makers Film Series, the New Visions Series, the Human Rights, Reunification and Korean Diaspora Film Festival, the Unending Korean War Conference and more,  often in collaboration with various media centers and local universities and community groups. 


Annual TWN Production Workshop

Starting its 39th year, the TWN Production Workshop continues its long tradition of providing an unique "hands-on" training program that provides practical skills and resources for emerging filmmakers. This intensive 4-month program supports and trains people from communities that historically have had limited economic resources and access to mainstream educational institutions or training programs. By providing the basic technical and storytelling tools to create fiction or documentary projects, the Production Workshop carries on the mission of TWN by promoting independent cinema made for and by underserved communities of color and their progressive allies.

The Production Workshop recognizes new emerging digital technologies and the importance of multi-platform and interactive media in the production and distribution of projects. The curriculum of the workshop integrates these elements into the pre-production, production and post-production skills necessary to take at least one short 5-minute video project from conception to completion.
Working in small groups, workshop members collectively conceive and produce project ideas with the help of instructors and guest speakers who are experienced professionals currently working in the field of film, video and trans-media. The Production Workshop meets every Wednesday at 6:30 pm in the offices of Third World Newsreel. The time commitment needed to participate in the workshop is high and participants must be able to attend regular class meetings as well as fulfill the out-of-class demands of pre-production, production, and post-production. Prior film, video or related experience is helpful but not required; self-initiative, time and a progressive and collaborative spirit are. The selection to the Production Workshop is limited to 9 participants. An initial written applications is required and a second round of applicants are selected for interviews. The cost of the workshop is $650. For further information, see below and download our application, or email

Funding for the TWN workshops are provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Peace Development Fund and individual donors. 

Download the application here

Besides the Production Workshop, TWN also presents a Fall and Spring Evening Seminar series on various Production Topics for free. See our calendar listing.


TWN Production Workshop

 We are pleased to introduce our new Workshop Director, Chrystian Rodriguez, a long time media instructor/producer and community activist, who taught for many years at Global Action Project (GAP) and at the Tribeca Film Institute. He is ably assisted by Daniel Kim as Workshop Assistant and a team of visiting lecturers, including this year, JT Takagi (sound), Warut Snidvongs (lighting) and Mar Trevino (editing) and others. The 2015 workshop is in production right now.

Workshop FAQs

What types of videos can be made in the workshop?

Dramatic, documentary, experimental and various cross genres. Regardless of the formal structure, projects must be kept short, simple and manageable to keep production time and expenses down.

What other costs are associated with the Production Workshop?

The workshop provides basic production equipment. Other production costs such as extra stock, transportation, food, props, etc. are at the participants' expense.

When are applications available and when will I be notified of acceptance/rejection?

Applications are up on our website early in the year and the deadline for this year's completed applications is Friday, January 29, 2016. Second round interviews are conducted soon after and people will be notified immediately of acceptance or rejection.

How competitive is the application process?

We want as many people as possible to have access to the application process. However, only about half of the applicants are contacted for a second round of personal interviews for the 9 available slots. If necessary, interviews can be conducted over the phone for out of city/state applicants.

Are there other training programs that TWN offers?

The TWN Production Workshop is project driven and the only production training program that TWN offers. It is conducted once a year and starts in late winter / early spring. However, every fall and spring TWN offers a series of Evening Seminars on various production topics and featuring film screenings and director talks. This 6 week series ranges from proposal writing to HD media workflow to master classes with editors and directors. The fees range from $20 to free, depending. For more information on these seminars, email:

What kind of time commitment is necessary for the Production Workshop?

If your time is limited or you have other commitments, it will be very difficult to fully benefit from the Production Workshop. In addition to the regular Thursday evening meetings, participants are also required to attend the Evening Seminar Series (Production Workshop members do not have to pay for the Evening Workshop Series). There is also a tremendous amount of work in pre-production and post-production that each participant must accomplish outside of the regularly attended Thursday and Wednesday sessions. In addition, because people often work during the weekday, most productions are shot on the weekends or in the evenings so you must be available and flexible with your time. Workshop participants are also required to do a Community Service Project where members provide some kind of service, i.e. shoot an event, screen films or videos, conduct a media workshop, etc. for a grassroots community organization. It must be emphasized that the Production Workshop is not a "school" situation where one meets for class once a week, takes notes and then comes back again the following week. It is a project driven and production orientated program where one must be committed to learning basic production skills while making progressive media projects.

What have past participants done after the Production Workshop?

Past participants have produced, written and directed feature films, documentaries and experimental works. They have worked as cinematographers, editors and other technical positions on fictional films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, etc. They have been Academy Award nominees. They have been accepted to graduate film programs at NYU, UCLA, CCNY and Columbia University and have attended AFI, IFP and the Sundance Directors and Writing labs. They have started their own production companies and film collectives. They have produced community based video & film projects and training programs....the list goes on. Workshop graduates include: Loira Limbal (Estilo Hip Hop), Byron Hurt (Beyond Beats and Rhymes) Grace Lee (The Grace Lee Project and American Revolutionary), Ada Griffin (A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde), Randy Redroad (Doe Boy), Renata Gangemi (Professor, Ramapo College), Alice Wu (Saving Face), Jamal Josephs (30 Days, Professor, Columbia Univ.), and Renee Tajima-Pena (Calavera Highway, Who Killed Vincent Chin?, Professor, UC Santa Cruz).

In Memoriam: Herman Lew
Our long time Workshop Director, Herman Lew, tragically passed away September 20th, 2014. He was our best friend and colleague, a great DP and the best teacher ever. We miss him terribly. Herman Lew was the Director of the Third World Newsreel Production Workshop for over two decades (since 1989), but tragically and suddenly lost his life in September, 2014.   A cinematographer and professor, Herman received his BA from the State University of Los Angeles and his MFA from NYU.  He was an associate professor and the director of the B.F.A. Film & Video Program in the Department of Media and Communications at the City College of New York.  Herman had been a director of photography for over 65 films, documentaries and commercials, as well as dance, experimental projects and museum installations. He was the recipient of a New York Foundation For The Arts Fellowship and had received grants from the New York State Council On The Arts for his own film and video projects. Among his last productions were Hans Richter: Everything Turns, Everything Revolves (2013), What Happened to Danny, and Something to Say, a documentary on Asian American performer activists.


Third World Newsreel
545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 550
New York, NY 10018

tel. 212-947-9277
fax. 212-594-6417

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