Film is the future of literacy.
— Nathan Ross Freeman, Creative Director

The film-making process is a literal manifestation of our belief in authorship: complete ownership of the creative process.

From idea, to writing, to script, through planning, development, filming, editing and music composition, recording and integration, our authors create short films over 16 weeks during the school year.

Authors write three monologues from our creative writing process. One monologue is chosen and this is developed into a script, by the author. The chosen monologue is recorded by the author as the narrator of the film. Once a script is final, the author must lead and participate in every aspect of the pre-production, production and post-production process: location scouting, casting, directing, film editing and music composition for the film. 

Authors work collaboratively with professional artists during every step of this process. Musicians, film makers, and writers consult with authors throughout this process.  Ultimately, the author makes all final decisions for the film and becomes a professional film maker. 

Our film-making authors are a part of our Just Us program. Authors are brought to us through court referrals, either as a preventative measure or as mandated participation. Authoring Action is an official agency of the court.

At the end of the year, in May, films are screened at A/perture theatre in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. This event is attended by community and family members, as well as personnel from the court.

Prior to entering the Just Us program, these teen authors were products of and participants in the juvenile penal system. The Just Us program does not save them. The Film making process is planting a seed. 

At the final screening, authors are treated as professionals. They receive a stipend check for their work and are the subject of a Q&A session following their film. It may be the first time they have created something, completely.

To be seen as a creator, a successful creator, is the seed we are planting. The impact of self-sufficiency and accomplishment is palpable. It may not be acted upon again for some time, but in those moments an author has been created. 

What We've Achieved

  • Our films have gone on to receive awards, such as Mr. Bones which won a best short film award at the *** film festival 
  • Over 15 years our authors have created over 60 films 
  • The Just Us program [est. 2013] has produced over 24 films, and has held 8 screenings at A/perture Theatre