Fresh Films and the Illinois Film Office have teamed up to create a new batch of film industry professionals.

The organizations will host an Accelerated Training Program at Rock Island’s Augustana College to prepare and train 18-to-26-year-old Illinois residents interested in launching their career in film.

Selected applicants will participate in intensive, hands-on weekly film training from March to June along with speaker sessions and soft skills to accelerate their learning, connections and job opportunities in film and TV, according to a Tuesday release from Fresh Films.

Fresh Films is based at Rock Island’s Augustana College.

Trainees will work alongside Fresh Films’ industry partners Sony, Roku, and Fremantle as they master their skills developing multiple film projects. 

Training sessions begin March 2, 2023 and will be held at Augustana, home of Fresh Film. The paid training program, made possible through the Illinois Film Office Training Grant, is open to all Illinois residents ages 18-26. No previous film experience is necessary.

Applications are reviewed and limited spots are filled on a rolling basis through Feb. 20, 2023 at this Fresh Films website.

“Illinois Film and TV production had a record year with more than $630 million in production spending. To support this growth, we need more trained talent,” Peter Hawley, director for the Illinois Film Office, said in the release.

Peter Hawley is director of the Illinois Film Office.

“Fresh Films is one of six training programs across the state, and the only one in Western Illinois. The program not only helps young adults launch their career in film and TV, but also diversifies and grows the labor pool,” he said.

“This program will engage diverse 18- to 26-year-olds in hands-on learning with the best of the best in film and television,” says Kelli Feigley, Fresh Films’ co-founder and managing partner. “This program’s number one goal is to jump start new careers in film and television production and at the same time help fill the void in staffing challenges with new talent.”

“The film industry needs talented, energetic, diverse new professionals but those professionals need a place to start,” says Feigley. “This program is just the beginning for them.”