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Project Viewfinder
Changing Young Lives Through Film

Project Viewfinder is an outreach effort of the School of Film that teaches the tools of filmmaking to young adults from underserved populations.  Working with School faculty members and Certificate Program students, participants create short films to help educate the community about timely issues, while advancing their own aspirations as community members and artists.



 Wednesday, December 10, 5:30 PM, - Whitsell Auditorium



Project Viewfinder 2013-2014: Focus on Youth Homelessness

"Project Viewfinder gives youth a chance to draw out their individual talents.  They are motivated to believe in themselves after so many others have given up on them."
- Sue Hays, New Avenues for Youth

Working with New Avenues for Youth, Outside In, p:ear, SMYRC, and other social service organizations, Project Viewfinder is currently focusing on the homeless youth population of downtown Portland. 

In 2013, 10 young adults transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency created a series of short films about the causes of, and possible solutions to, the problem of youth homelessness.  The films premiered to a packed house in the Whitsell Auditorium inside the Portland Art Museum in May 2013.

This year, in 2014, five of the youth graduates of the 2013 program return to mentor the newcomers and to share updates on their journey over the past twelve months.


Meet the 2014 Viewfinders | View 2014 behind-the-scenes photos


2013 Participant Survey

  • 100% created a personal documentary film about their homelessness
  • 50% attended a follow-up School of Film workshop on scholarship
  • 40% want to attend a School of Film college credit class on scholarship

2013 Audience Survey

  • 84% said that projects like these are of great value to the community 
  • 70% said that the films show that there are misconceptions about homeless
  • 63% said that it is clear that there are solutions to homelessness

Meet the 2013 Viewfinders | See 2013 the films
View 2013 behind-the-scenes photos
|Watch the inspiration

Join the more than 125 individual contributors* who are making Project Viewfinder possible.  No donation is too small!  Our thanks also to The Wheeler Foundation for its support of this project.

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