Digital Storytelling (DS) is an six week AFF arts education program that improves students’ reading, writing, communication, media technology, and idea-expression skills through professional hands-on screenwriting, filmmaking, and podcasting. Launched in 2005, DS has served thousands of Central Texas Middle and High School students with a curriculum developed by Austin Film Festival and AISD English teachers.
Digital Storytelling, the Program’s signature, in-school initiative, provides English and Language Arts TEKS-aligned curriculum on the arts of screenwriting, narrative podcasting, and film production. Offered at no cost to participating schools, Digital Storytelling encourages students to harvest stories from their own lives, transform those stories into scripts, and experience the challenging, yet rewarding process of turning personal narrative into art. Throughout the six-week units, students undergo all stages of the creative process, thereby gaining valuable experience at the intersection of personal accountability and teamwork. Our goal is to provide teachers the necessary tools, training, and support system to implement Digital Storytelling into any classroom. Furthermore, Digital Storytelling curriculum utilizes the Festival’s On Story Archive, which includes insights from industry luminaries.
Here’s what past alumni have to say about our Digital Storytelling Program
“I am very grateful to be in this class because it has given me opportunities I never thought I could have at this age. My short script was selected as one of two to be made into a short film this year. I really couldn’t believe it! I feel honored to have worked with professional filmmakers and directors. It’s been a wonderful experience and I plan to be in this program again next year. This experience will help me greatly in the future when I actually become a professional filmmaker.”
– Cristina Gonzalez, Student Participant, AFF’s Digital Storytelling program
“Digital Storytelling has inspired me to pursue a creative project outside of school.”
– Caitlin Powel, 10th grade
“After taking the course, my English grade has improved.”
– Jordan Espinoza, 12th grade
“I have an easier time sorting my ideas because of the writing skills I learned in this class.”
– Casey Follis, 12th grade
In the 2019-2020 school year, Austin Film Festival has currently partnered with the following schools for Digital Storytelling curriculum:
- Akins High School
- James Bowie High School
- O’Henry Middle School
- Pflugerville High School