Other than making a short film on a camcorder and getting lost, ICF was something else. I spent the whole Summer living and breathing filmmaking. I was part of a cohort full of students that had this passion to make movies. We were young and learning to be fearless.
The founders of ICF were a married couple named Fred and Stephanya. Fred Heinreich was this talk old man. He had curly hair and a full beard. He would fall asleep during some of our classes and we loved every second of it. More than that, he was kind. He worked in the film industry for many years and had success. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what he exactly did. So, I googled it. He was a film editor before he decided to open up Inner City Filmmaker with his wife Stephanya to help inner city kids get jobs in entertainment. Stephanya Lipner was this ferocious woman and til this day I have no idea what her heart truly wanted out of Inner City Filmmaker. She was a ballerina/ dancer but went into other realms in the entertainment industry. At the time, I never really got the chance to learn about Fred and Steph careers. They were elderly and started this program to change lives. This was back in 2011, and they had their careers before a time when social media told us everything about a person.
We were given a folder during orientation which we were required to carry with us at all times. It had everything we needed including our schedule for the day. It gave us contact information for every person that was part of the Summer program. I still have the folder and I took photos of our weekly schedule to share with everyone here.
Jeffrey Berman was my group mentor. He was to meet with us every day. During the first week, he gave us writing tips since that was our first task. Each of us was to pitch an idea for a three-minute silent film. Once it got approved, we would shoot the film. The film would be showcased at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. I was overwhelmed. There was so much I didn’t know.