BIDDEFORD — Project AWARE, Youth MOVE Maine, Engine and the University of New England will team up to lead the Summer Film Institute from Monday, Aug. 17, to Friday, Aug. 21. 

SFI works with teens to use film as a medium for raising awareness about a social issue. This is a great learning experience and empowerment opportunity for young people. 

Each individual will learn primarily by first-hand experience and will receive their own copy of the final product, great service learning work for their resume, community service hours and a new set of skills along with some great memories. All attendees will be supported and advised by both youth and adult leaders and film/editing professionals.

Beginners and advanced attendees are welcome. Five full days will be spent learning the “A-Z” of video production while creating public service announcements and a dramatic movie short about youth issues. The high-quality videos will be widely distributed to raise awareness and make a difference about the issue that is identified.

Films created during previous programs have covered the issues of peer pressure, teen pregnancy, role modeling, parent relationships, bullying and sexual assault. Teens drive what the SFI focuses on each summer.

The most recent movie created, “A Better Place,” addresses the topic of self-harm. It will air locally in central Maine at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, on WABI and at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, on EABI.

This year, the intention is to focus the short film on substance abuse. Residents at Long Creek Youth Development Center will write the movie. Two public service announcements on topics youths identify will also be created.

The Summer Film Institute is an opportunity for young people to work as a team while creating high-quality video product that makes a difference. The institute will be held at Engine, 128 Main St.

The cost for the program is $495. Scholarships may be available. To sign up, contact Project AWARE at 207-282-5598 or email [email protected] Space is limited.