Reel Lives' Media Training Program works with marginalized youth developing both “hard skills” in digital video production, and “soft skills” in critical thinking, self-confidence, recovery from trauma and socialization. Graduates will receive an NQF 5 Level certificate from The University of Cape Town (UCT), and will be supported in making the transition to working in their chosen field, and/or in acquiring tertiary education. The top students from each cohort will receive a full, 3-year bursary to complete an undergraduate degree in Media Studies from UCT.

The program workshops build entry-level professional skills in narrative development for non-fiction film, pre-production, cinematography, and non-linear editing using the cutting-edge of non-linear editing software.

Reel Lives approach to youth-media training provides an opportunity for an informal form of “group-art therapy”, where participants engage with their own experiences through media-arts, and learn from one another’s experiences. Each participant creates a short (8-12 minute) documentary film around a personal human rights related narrative. 

It is not an overstatement to say that our educational programming is uniquely transformative, and graduates see the world, and their place in it, in a very different light.

After graduation, Reel Lives will run a series of workshops on ways to use media as a method to promote social change, creating a launch-pad for our graduates to become advocates and activists for their own cause. These workshops will include a practicum on designing outreach campaigns around their own films.


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