SAN MARINO, Calif.—In an ongoing partnership with Ghetto Film School, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is serving as a training ground for student filmmakers exploring careers in the film industry. An inaugural installation of film shorts, opening Nov. 20 in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, shows the work of 15 students who pursued the theme of portraiture at The Huntington, a nod to the new Kehinde Wiley painting, A Portrait of a Young Gentleman, now on view in the Huntington Art Gallery.
Ghetto Film School (GFS)—an award-winning nonprofit with locations in Los Angeles, New York, and London—provides education and professional development to high school and early college students wishing to pursue a career in the film industry. During weekend sessions, they learn all aspects of the craft, including shooting, editing, script writing, producing, and directing.
In 2020, before the pandemic delayed subsequent onsite activity, students met with curators and educators at The Huntington, learning about the collections and drawing inspiration from 18th- and 19th-century portraiture on view in the galleries to help inform their own sense of portraiture in contemporary filmmaking. On the technical side, they worked with GFS faculty to learn, among other things, how to operate vintage hand-crank 16 mm cameras. They also met with The Huntington’s location filming staff to better understand the parameters for location filming. The partnership is ongoing, with new cohorts of students coming to The Huntington each semester.
“This collaboration provides a terrific opportunity to bring talented, highly motivated film students to The Huntington to engage creatively with the works here and make something new in response,” said Elee Wood, The Huntington’s Nadine and Robert A. Skotheim Director of Education and Public Programs. “What they’ve done in this inaugural installation is astonishing, providing a connection between the historic works on display and the contemporary narratives they present in their craft.”
The works are shown in a “black box” space that had been built expressly for film as part of The Huntington’s exhibition “Made In L.A. 2020: a version,” in partnership with the Hammer Museum earlier this year. New films from the GFS partnership will rotate in over time.
“This program with The Huntington has been transformational for our students,” said Montea Robinson, executive director of Ghetto Film School Los Angeles. “In this third year of our partnership, the curators and educators at The Huntington continue to provide our students with the support and access they need to explore filmmaking through this unique lens. We’re honored to work alongside a partner who shares the same mission for young artists and helps these stories come to life on-screen.”
About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, a collections-based research and educational institution, aspires to be a welcoming place of engagement and reflection for a diverse community. The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Visitor information: huntington.org or 626-405-2100. (Check huntington.org for updates on visitation protocols due to COVID-19.)
About Ghetto Film School
Ghetto Film School (GFS) is an award-winning nonprofit founded in 2000 to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great storytellers. GFS annually serves more than 8,000 individuals, 14-34 years of age. With locations in New York City (est. 2000), Los Angeles (est. 2014), and London (est. 2020), GFS equips students for top universities and careers in the creative industries through two tracks: the Fellows Program—an introductory education program for high school students, and the Roster—early-career support for alumni and young professionals. The Fellows Program is a 30-month cinematic storytelling course for high school students. The Roster ensures opportunities for GFS alumni and other young professionals so that media professions become accessible to more diverse future generations of visual storytellers.