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Watch Salamishah Tillet's MAKERS Story Produced By Reel Works

Reel Works is one of the leading youth media programs in New York City. Founded in 2001, the mission is centered on the belief that the practice of filmmaking is comprised of the essential disciplines of communication, critical thinking, storytelling, leadership, and teamwork. This all-girls summer program is a tremendous success in truly enhancing young filmmakers' skill level, understanding of feminism, and gender empowerment in a male dominated industry.

This summer, AOL Charitable Foundation teamed up with Reel Works to launch a first of it's kind all-female program in which teen girls receive advanced editing training and learn about women change-makers by transforming raw interview footage into professional-quality pieces.

Through this program, the girls met with Senior Producer from AOL MAKERS to further their knowledge and skill set. The class began with a welcome workshop at AOL, with an introduction to MAKERS from Executive Producer Dyllan McGee, who mentored these producers on the MAKERS principles.

Two girls, Gabriela Carrera and Gianna Gomez, worked together to produce MAKER Salamishah Tillet's exclusive story.

Carrera is a 17 year old student, activist, and aspiring filmmaker. She is an alumna of Young Playwrights Inc., and is a current member of Girl Be Heard Theatre company.


"Not only did I develop skills and learn more as an editor, but working on Salamishah story inspired me as an activist as well. I was inspired to learn more about the issues of rape culture and sexual assault," Carrera said about her MAKERS producing experience.

Gianna Gomez is an aspiring film producer and editor. She is currently attending Brooklyn College studying media and communications. Gomez explains what she learned most from producing Tillet's video. "Interviewing people effectively is a skill. Having the interviewee repeat what they said or to say something clearer is very beneficial in the editing process."


In 2016, Reel Works served over 700 youth through our free after-school and in-school programs. They provide a summer lab and internships for students, as well as Reel Work productions — a youth-run production company that pays teens to make real films for actual client.

This program helps girls interact with strong female editors and producers, who push them to succeed despite the odds. 

To learn more about Reel Works click here and watch the Reel Works production of Salamishah Tillet's MAKERS story in the video player above.

About AOL Charitable Foundation
The AOL Charitable Foundation is focused on improving the lives of women, girls and underserved youth through fostering leadership and empowerment, improving economic opportunity, access to education and technology and cultivating creativity. Established in 2014, the Foundation provides funding to non-profit organizations working in these arenas as well as providing opportunities for AOL employees to lend their talent and skills to benefit the organizations and the individuals they serve. For more information on AOL Charitable Foundation, please contact Foundation@teamaol.com.

NEXT: 5 Nonprofit Organizations for Young Girls That You Should Know »

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A Young Female Filmmaker Talks Race, Gender, and the Power of Education

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Reel Works