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The District Intern Program

Introduction: We propose the establishment of a college program that combines the power of animation with social justice themes to create impactful and thought-provoking animated documentaries. This program will provide students with an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, earn intern credits, receive film credits, and potentially even receive a stipend. Through this program, we aim to empower students to use their creative skills to address social issues and foster meaningful change.

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The program

The District is a documentary that delves deep into the complex and tumultuous history of African-American police officers in Chicago, with a particular focus on the city's Third District. This documentary highlights how this district, once abandoned and marginalized due to white flight and racial tensions sparked by the election of Harold Washington as mayor, became a  battleground against racism and anti-Blackness.

Through the lens of two compelling narrators, David Lemieux, a former member of the Black Panther Party, and Delbert Howell, a retired mounted police officer, The District offers an intimate exploration of the challenges, triumphs, and ongoing struggles faced by African-American officers in Chicago's Third District. Their personal stories provide a powerful and unique perspective on the historical events that shaped the district's policing landscape and its resonance in contemporary times.


Program Overview:

  1. Collaborative Environment: The program will foster a collaborative and inclusive environment, bringing together students from various disciplines such as animation, music, social sciences, and art. This interdisciplinary approach will encourage diverse perspectives and ideas, enriching the overall filmmaking process.

  2. Selection Process: Interested students will be required to submit applications showcasing their passion for animation, including samples of their previous work. A selection committee comprising faculty, industry professionals, producers, and the director of the documentary will review the applications and select a cohort of students to participate in the program.

  3. Project Development: Under the guidance of faculty mentors and industry professionals, students will work on developing an original animated documentary with a strong social justice theme. The film's concept and storyline will be decided collectively, ensuring that each student's voice is heard and respected. Throughout the project, students will engage in regular critique sessions, workshops, and screenings to refine their skills and receive constructive feedback.

  4. Intern Credits and Film Credits: Successful completion of the program will earn students intern credits, recognizing their dedication and involvement in the animated film's production. Additionally, students who contribute significantly to the documentary’s creation will be credited as part of the production team, providing them with valuable professional experience and enhancing their resumes.

  5. Stipend Opportunities: To further incentivize students and support their commitment to the program, we will explore opportunities to provide stipends based on available funding sources. These stipends will help alleviate financial burdens and enable students to fully immerse themselves in the creative process.

Benefits and Outcomes:

  1. Practical Experience: Students will gain practical experience in the field of animation while addressing important social justice issues. This experience will enhance their skillset and prepare them for future careers in animation, film production, or social advocacy.

  2. Networking and Industry Connections: The program will facilitate connections with industry professionals, social justice organizations, and other like-minded individuals, providing students with valuable networking opportunities.

  3. Social Impact: By creating animated documentaries that tackle social justice topics, students will contribute to raising awareness, fostering empathy, and promoting positive change within society.

  4. Portfolio Enhancement: Participating in the program will allow students to build a portfolio of work that showcases their creative abilities, passion for social justice, and commitment to using their skills for a greater purpose.

Conclusion: The District Animation Program will empower students to channel their creativity, technical skills, and passion for social justice into impactful animated documentaries. By providing intern credits, film credits, and potential stipends, we aim to recognize and support students' efforts in bringing about social change through the medium of animation. This program will not only contribute to their personal and professional growth but also foster a generation of socially conscious storytellers and animators.


 Let's connect.


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