Stephanie Walter Williams and Keisha Katz Discusses Youth Film Mentoring with Reel Works [Exclusive Interview]

Reel Works

Reel Works

The future of television and film relies on the cultivation of talent of our youth. New York-based Reel Works celebrates its 20th anniversary ahead of its virtual gala this week. The organization is a youth media and workforce readiness program that matches teens with professional filmmakers as mentors.  Organizers Stephanie Walter Williams and Keisha Katz took the time with LRM Online to promote and to discuss the activities and accomplishments with the diverse BIPOC young adults.

The purpose of Reel Works is to mentor, inspire and empower underserved New York City youth to share their stories through filmmaking, creating a springboard to successful careers in media and beyond.

A couple of programs highlighted included MediaMKRS partnership that originated in 2019 with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the City University of New York (CUNY) and the unions and media companies such as HBO, Netflix, and Viacom CBS. The purpose of the partnership is to train, credential, and prepare talented young adults for careers in media and entertainment.

Also, the organization has Reel Works Productions, a youth-led, Emmy-winning production company that pays teens to create original media for real clients. Some of the real clients in the past included American Express, Hasbro, Samsung, Bank of America, and Columbia University. Currently, the production company is working on a Gibney Dance

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In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Reel Works Gala takes place virtually at 7 p.m. EST this Wednesday, May 26. Some of the guests and honorees include actress and producer Issa Rae, playwright Fanshen Cox, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC partner Kalpana Kotagal, vice president for Endeavor Content Dr. Tasmin Plater, film director and chef Eddie Huang, with the event hosted by actor Bryan Terrell Clark.

For more information, visit Reel Works 20th Anniversary Gala for donations and ticket information. For more information on Reel Works, visit the Reel Works organization web site.

Check out the exclusive interview with Reel Works co-founder and senior director of education and programming Stephanie Walter Williams and director of workforce and external partnerships Keisha Katz below.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Reel Works

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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