The Maysles Institute exhibits independently curated films to inspire dialogue and action and advances community produced films through education programs. Our cinema and education programs engage multi-generational communities in creative self-expression, communicating ideas and advocating needs. We are committed to working with and representing residents of our Harlem neighborhood, documentary filmmakers and activists, community members and community-based organizations engaged in social, political and cultural change. Our goal is to bring these diverse audiences together, creating cross-cultural dialogue, relationships and empowerment through documentary film and filmmaking.
We offer diverse, year-round programming for youth and adults in Harlem, Northern Manhattan, and South Bronx communities. Our goal is to enhance community storytelling and civic engagement by providing residents with specialized knowledge in documentary filmmaking and the technical tools they need to succeed.
AFTER-SCHOOL & SUMMER PROGRAMS
The Institute offers young people, ages 13-18, fun, engaging and holistic opportunities to create documentary films. Throughout the summer young people participate in an intensive six-week program where participants work in small production teams and learn how to shoot and edit short films under the guidance of film professionals. The summer program culminates in a citywide screening for family, friends, and the film community.
Throughout the school year, students who participate in the summer program along with other young people from the wider community are invited to work on individual film projects within the Institute.
INSIDE THE CLASSROOM
We design, implement, and facilitate a documentary filmmaking curriculum that aids students' critical understandings of course material in Literature and the Humanities in Harlem area schools. The curriculum is designed to help students grasp concepts of narrative storytelling while fostering understandings of visual languages and political perspectives presented in various works. Students are equipped with an innovative framework through which to process contemporary literature and historic events, and ultimately analyze and respond to class material through the creation of short films.
THE FILMMAKER'S COLLABORATIVE FOR ADULTS
The Institute recognizes that there are many adults who are eager to become filmmakers, and perhaps continue to work on film projects that have come to rest with time. We offer adults a 16-week rigorous documentary filmmaking course. Here, participants work on a personal production guide that includes a narrative treatment, storyboard, film budget, and a trailer of their film.
THE MAYSLES CINEMA
The Maysles Cinema, the only independent film house north of Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is dedicated to the exclusive exhibition of documentary films, and it provides programming and forum discussions at least four nights out of every week. The Cinema is committed to a democratic experience, one where filmmakers are asked to attend the screenings of their work, and audiences have the opportunity to actively engage the films and each other in post-screening forums. Coupled with its scheduled series, the Cinema's directors encourage the programming participation of local social and cultural organizations and citizen-activists to deepen community involvement and provide exposure for under-represented social issues and overlooked artists and their work. In the past year, we have forged partnerships with organizations as diverse as The National Black Programming Consortium, the New Museum, and the Harlem Historic Parks Association, to name a few. Our suggested-donation ticket model allows for everyone to engage in our programming, regardless of his or her ability to pay. As a result of steady growth in attendance we have recently added capacity to accommodate our frequent overflow audiences.
Our first commitment is to serve the Harlem community in which we work, though we also partner with various cultural and geographic communities in the New York City area.
Maysles Institute (Map)
343 Lenox Avenue
New York, NY 10027
The Maysles Institute and The Maysles Cinema are located in Harlem, between 127th and 128th streets on Lenox Avenue (also known as Malcolm X Boulevard).
By Subway: The #2 and #3 train station is two blocks away at 125th street. You can also take A, B, C, D, or #4, #5, #6 to 125th street and walk or take a bus to Lenox Avenue.
By Bus: M-1, M-2, M-7, M-60, M-100, M-101, M-102 or BX 15
Parking: Available at the Municipal Garage at 126th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.