"We use filmmaking to amplify and expand under-represented artists and narratives, while empowering young filmmakers in creative self-expression, communicating ideas, and advocating needs." - Maysles Documentary Center's Mission Statement
Wikimedia CommonsThe Maysles Documentary Center (MDC) is a non-profit organization based in Harlem, New York. Founded by renowned filmmaker, Albert Maysles, in 2005. The film school started out as a summer program for young people whose parents had been incarcerated, providing them with the opportunity to learn and create meaningful work. Now, they offer a variety of inexpensive or no-cost courses at different levels; they provide film literacy classes for children, filmmaking (either beginner or advanced) for high school students or adults, as well as editing classes.
MDC’s mission statement outlines their commitment to, “community, education, and documentary film,” explaining that they, “use filmmaking to amplify and expand under-represented artists and narratives, while empowering young filmmakers in creative self-expression, communicating ideas, and advocating needs.”
For residents of Harlem, they also have a cinema management training program. The on-site Maysles Cinema, according to their website, is, “the only independent film house north of Lincoln Center devoted exclusively to documentary programming.”
In 2021, MCD won First Place High School Documentary at the MY HERO International Film Festival, with their film, Dangers of Vaping. The short documentary explores the dangerous effects of e-cigarettes, which have been marketed to teenagers since the late 2000s.
In the film, student Caleb Mintz details the mixed messages given to his class by an educator who later turned out to be a representative of Juul, an e-cigarette brand. The representative had incorrectly informed the class that the e-cigs were, “meant to help teenagers quit smoking,” as they are, “99% safer than combustible cigarettes.” The truth is, having only been around for approximately 20 years, nobody fully understands what the long-term effects of vaping are.
This film is just one of many incredible documentaries that the Maysles Documentary Center have submitted to the MY HERO International Film Festival over the years and we certainly hope to see many more in years to come!
The opportunities that MDC are creating for youth and adults alike are incredible, especially as similar courses are often expensive and therefore less accessible. For almost 20 years, the Maysles Documentary Center has been empowering people to explore creativity, use their voices, and share their messages all through the medium of film; thank you to all the heroes that are part of the MDC team.
To watch the winning film, Dangers of Vaping, click here.
To see MDC’s full list of Awards and Festivals, including the MY HERO International Film Festival, click here.
To read more about MDC’s founder, Albert Maysles, click here.
 Maysles Documentary Center. [Online] Available https://www.maysles.org/aboutmdc.2023.
Page created on 1/19/2023 1:13:47 PM
Last edited 1/19/2023 2:35:26 PM
, . Maysles Documentary Center. [Online] Available https://www.maysles.org/aboutmdc.2023.