The Duke Youth Media Camp kicked off its collaboration with New York Film Academy (NYFA) on January 26 at our Los Angeles campus. The Duke Youth Media Camp is sponsored by the Duke Media Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Bill Duke in 2010.
Bill Duke is a veteran actor and director, known for his roles in several high-profile films and television series, including Predator, X-Men: The Last Stand, Mandy, Black Lightning, and American Gigolo. He’ll also be in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh film, High Flying Bird. At the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, Duke was nominated for the Palme d’Or for his film A Rage in Harlem. Additionally, Duke is a Filmmaking Instructor for New York Film Academy.
The Duke Youth Media Camp seeks to train and empower teens through hands-on instruction from New York Film Academy and Duke Media Foundation staff. The partnership between the institutions began in 2016. By teaching students the tools and skills needed in a constantly evolving media environment, the Duke Media Foundation and NYFA aim to help inner-city youth become more competitive with those who’ve typically had greater access to the education and equipment needed in a film, television, and digital media landscape.
“Duke Media Foundation is grateful to New York Film Academy of Burbank for partnering with us and enabling us to present the Duke Youth Media Camp program for at-risk youth in Southern California,” says Linda Broadous-Miles, Executive Director, Duke Media Foundation. “As a result, we are creating career paths in filmmaking and digital technology for young people who would otherwise never have this opportunity.”
Many of the alumni of the Camp have expressed a deep appreciation for the experience. One such alum, JaNarie Rhambo, says: “The Duke Youth Media Camp not only helped me mature in my career, but in my finances and personal life. My drive is amazing, my focus is sharp, and my leadership skills are toned. This was an experience I will NEVER forget because the staff who ran the program give their all to help the next generation mark their spot on the map! Mr. Duke and his program were a major catalyst in my entertainment career and I volunteer with them because of the great things they have done for me.”
Parents of students attending the Camp are also grateful for the education their children receive. “My son and I are super excited about the Duke Youth Media Camp being held at the New York Film Academy in Burbank,” says Sharon Walker, a parent of one of the campers. “We both look forward to spending every Saturday at the camp. We appreciate all that Duke Youth Media Camp does to give our kids these great opportunities. Thank you so much Mr. Bill Duke and the New York Film Academy.”
This year’s Spring camp is now well underway after its January start. Mason Richards, the Chair of NYFA Community Outreach, hosted the Orientation on January 26. After the event, he told NYFA, “We’re excited to welcome another cohort of young filmmaking students who represent a cross-section of the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District).”
Describing the event, Richards says, “The room [was] filled with lots of excitement as a cohort of 16 new students and their families shared their thoughts and aspirations about starting the program and gaining the opportunity to study the craft of filmmaking at our academy. Mr. Bill Duke shared his experiences as a director, actor, filmmaker, and writer—which was truly inspiring to everyone present, including myself. We’re looking forward seeing the projects that the students will write, edit and produce at NYFA-Los Angeles and shoot on the Universal Studios Backlot this Spring!”