Third World Newsreel works with New York City based media centers, universities and community groups to host production workshops, seminars and events, and gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the governor and the State legislature, public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the City Council, the Kolibri Foundation, the Golden Globe Foundation, the Peace Development Fund and individual donors.
The Third World Newsreel Production Workshop is a unique “hands-on” media production training program providing practical skills and resources for emerging filmmakers. This intensive six-month program, now in its 47th year, is aimed primarily at members of historically marginalized communities, with limited economic resources and access to mainstream educational institutions or traditional training programs. Offering tools to create fiction or documentary projects, the Media Production Workshop carries on TWN's mission of promoting independent cinema by and about communities of color and other underserved groups and their progressive allies.
The Production Workshop curriculum integrates elements of new digital technologies and transmedia in its training, but its focus is the development of the pre-production, production and post-production skills necessary to take a short 5 minute video project from conception to completion. Working together, workshop fellows conceive and produce their films with the help of instructors and guest lecturers, professionals working in the field of film/video and transmedia. Fellows are expected to complete one individual short video project during the program.
Applications for the 2024 Production Workshop are now closed. Learn more about the program, and review our FAQs
TWN sponsors a walk-in series of workshops on various production topics each spring and fall. The seminars are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted, and are presented at various New York City locations. Past workshop speakers have included professional filmmakers Carla Gutierrez, Byron Hurt, Laurens Grant, Larry Banks, Jason DaSilva, Cliff Charles, Shawn Batey, Ann Bennett, Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez, Mike Chin, Deann Borshay Liem, Stanley Nelson, One9, Sam Pollard, Dawn Porter, Yoruba Richen, Grace Lee, Arthur Jafa and many more.
Periodically, TWN offers Senior, Youth and Community Media Workshops in collaboration with institutions and organizations based in New York City. Senior, Youth and Community Media Workshops are free. Past workshops have included the SU-CASA Senior Media Workshop in Flushing, the NYWIFT Immigrant/First Generation Women Production Workshop, the Rights, Camera, Action! Workshops of 2019-2021 and the Asian Girls Empowerment Through Media Workshop (AGEM). Watch their work on YouTube and Vimeo.
The TWN Production Workshop is dedicated to the memory of Herman Lew, longtime Workshop Director, who passed away September 20th, 2014. He was our best friend and colleague, a great DP, a community activist and the best teacher ever. Herman Lew was the Director of the Third World Newsreel Production Workshop for over two decades (since 1989). Also a professor and director of the B.F.A. Film Video Program at the City College of New York, Herman received his BA from the State University of Los Angeles and his MFA from New York University (NYU). 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. One of his own films is distributed by TWN, From Mott to Mulberry, a short drama based in NYC Chinatown. He leaves behind his wife, Janice, and 3 children.