Action Youth Media's filmmaking program for teens is a place where they can express themselves, be accepted, and feel heard. In free after-school classes and workshops, they learn from experienced professionals storytelling, scriptwriting, camera work, and other technical skills co-creating films rooted in social justice. Skill-building opportunities for students of all levels continue in the summer program (also free) with classes in pre- through post-production. A paid documentary filmmaking apprenticeship further refines the skills of more advanced students and two festivals a year showcase their work. Action Youth Media submits their films to local television stations and national festivals where they have won numerous awards. The big picture? Youth find their unique voices, develop as leaders and come together as a community of storytellers.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: MD-Montgomery County; Downtown Silver Spring; Wards 4 and 5 of Takoma Park; Wheaton

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students

Schools They Work In: Loiderman Middle School/Excel Beyond the Bell program

  • Number of students we serve annually:   200
  • Artists employed by us annually:   10
  • Classes offered annually:   140
  • Number of laptops donated during the pandemic:   100

Awards & Recognition

"We Are Now" Documentary 2018: Best Youth Film Baltimore International Black Film Festival; Official Selection Philadelphia Youth Film Festival 2019; Official Selection Show Me Justice Film Festival

"The Fabric of America" 2017/18: Finalist FOLCS Film Series Int'l Short Film Competition; Finalist SOMA Film Festival Young Filmmakers Track Cinema Ed; Official Selection Latino Film Market

"Juvenile Justice: The Road To Reform" Documentary 2015: Winner Best Short Documentary, The Freedom Film Festival; Official Winner DC Independent Film Festival; Official Selection Baltimore International Black Film Festival


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Action Youth Media (formerly Gandhi Brigade) is: Less than $500k

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