Founded in May 2009 by Executive Director, Tige Charity, in Los Angeles, CA, KITS, Kids in the Spotlight, Inc., was designed to train young people between the ages of 11-19 who are underprivileged or in the foster care system. During a ten-week intensive workshop, kids learn how to create, write, cast, and star in their own 10-minute short film, culminating in an annual Oscar night-like Film & Awards event where everything from “best film” to “best wardrobe/costume design” is recognized. This year, the 7th annual “Movies by Kids, For Kids” Awards was held in Los Angeles on November 5th and some of Hollywood’s youngest heavy weights, namely Skai Jackson, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin and Trinitee Stokes, turned out in support.
“This program teaches kids to express themselves through the art of filmmaking and encourages interest in careers in the movie industry which is so prevalent in Los Angeles,” comments Charity in a KITS press release. “Simultaneously, the teamwork, creativity and discipline required to complete the short films help the young participants develop a better self-image and sense of accomplishment…The screenplays that are written by the kids in our program are registered with the Writers Guild of America, West, (WGAW), which issues each child a certificate of their registered script.”
In addition to giving participants invaluable opportunities to learn a variety of skills for the present and beyond, KITS grants these young filmmakers, actors and writers coveted access to some of Tinseltown’s most prominent casting directors, agents, and producers.
Every year, the KITS program shoots up to 16 short films during their 10-week workshop. During this time, participants get five weeks of developing and writing a script until final draft, three weeks of acting coaching, one casting session, and two weeks of film production. KITS relies completely on partnerships, sponsorships, grants, and tax-deductible donations for operating and production costs.
To find out more about this amazing program, click here.