How Filmmaking Can Change Students’ Lives

Celebrating diverse high school students’ potential and channeling their incredible stories through film.

By Rachel Miller

At least three times a day someone tells me I am crazy. Why? I accidentally launched a non-profit to teach filmmaking to at-risk, underprivileged high school students on top of running a growing and successful management and production company. Suddenly I have two jobs — one that pays and one that rewards in a different way.

Last year I launched Film2Future with a federal grant that I was both shocked and thrilled to receive. Federal funds were supposed to cover year 2 but …let’s just say government priorities changed. It would have been easy to be proud of what we accomplished with our first class and simply end Film2Future after our pilot year.

But after over of year and a half working with our amazing students, the option of giving up simply disappeared. Once you hear from our students, you will understand why.

Currently, public school education is under attack, and art programs are being eliminated. One student even texted me that ICE was conducting raids outside their high school (resulting in students being too terrified to attend class). On top of it all, it seems that every day we are sliding closer to the brink of nuclear war. Working to keep Film2Future alive gives me hope for the future and forces me out of bed every morning! Using filmmaking as a way in, we improve our students’ lives by teaching life skills such as self-advocacy, confidence, teamwork, budget preparation and resume writing. We also offer one-one-professional mentorship and college essay review. Ultimately, our goal is for each of our students to get into college or obtain an entry level job in entertainment, and to diversify the entertainment business along the way.

At Film2Future, we celebrate diverse high school students’ potential and channel their incredible stories through film. Every single one of our students has a story to tell — and who knows — one of their stories could just change the world.

But as a non-profit start-up, we need all the help we can. Please donate to— a free filmmaking program that changes lives.

Rachel Miller is a founding partner of Haven Entertainment. She launched Film2Future in 2016 with 19 LA Unified High School students.

Our mission is to build healthy and resilient youth, while providing career opportunities in the thriving entertainment industry. Film2Future (F2F) is a non-profit creative and technical filmmaking program for at-risk, diverse students between the ages of 14–18. Students learn life skills such as self-advocacy, confidence, teamwork, budget preparation and resume writing. Each student receives healthy meals, transportation and use of a computer during the program. We also provide one-on-one professional mentorship and, upon graduation, work to create a direct pipeline for our students into higher education or into a paid entry-level industry position.

Originally published at

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