Welcome to FilmCoup

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

FilmCoup is a charity advancing film arts in under-represented communities to assist raising media awareness of social-political issues and native cultural traditions.
Our film workshops focus on the art of visual story-telling and include technical training and distribution guidance. The program is facilitated and taught by an Emmy award-winning American director with an international team of professional filmmakers.
In addition to the on-location film workshops we support deserving students with micro-grants, advanced workshops and residency programs.

• See how story technique can transform a documentary
• Learn the various contemporary visual styles
• Experience the marriage of time-honored film craft and current DSLR technology
• Find an audience with film festivals and social media.


FilmCoup has been created to assist filmmakers from under-represented communities to combine traditional film technique with low-cost, user-friendly DSLR technology, and create films with style and substance.

Our multi-tiered program is designed not only to build careers but to serve communities that either lack media infrastructure or experienced personnel. Our Beginner and Intermediate Film Workshop is structured to travel. Typically aided by a community-based organization, we provide a minimum of equipment to facilitate week-long film trainings on-site, employing a workshop translator and local coordinators to handle registration details.

On completion of the workshop we select two deserving students to participate in our Advanced Film Workshop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In association with Documentary Arts Asia, this month-long training is an opportunity to learn from a team of international filmmakers and technicians. As well as attending trainings covering all aspects of filmmaking, the scholarship students are mentored in the production of an original ten-minute short-subject shot in Chiang Mai.

In addition, FilmCoup offers training geared to assist human rights activists to better use video in advocacy work. This workshop covers the full spectrum of concerns and techniques for shooting in potentially dangerous situations from safety precautions to distribution.


FilmCoup offers film workshops for both beginner and experienced filmmakers:

The 6-day Beginner-Intermediate Film Workshop (limited enrollment) consists of lecture, film review and training. Students study contemporary styles of documentary story-telling while gaining hands-on experience shooting, lighting and editing. The film workshop provides sound equipment and accessories and concludes with the production of an original mini-movie with the students learning editing fundamentals on Adobe Premiere.

The Advanced Film Workshop (limited enrollment) is a month-long film training in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The curriculum includes a comprehensive range of technical trainings, story development, production and distribution workshops, as well as film review. During the course of the workshop the students each shoot a 10-minute dramatic or documentary short-subject. In association with FilmCoup, Chiang Mai-based Documentary Arts Asia provides their extensive film and publications library, screening facility, and equipment stock for the student’s use.

The 2-day Story and Style Film Workshop (limited enrollment) focuses on the two pillars of a successful film – story and technique. The film workshop guides students through steps to shape and stylize their own documentary story. In addition, the students hone their skills with a hands-on introduction to DSLR technology. The film workshop is facilitated by Emmy-winning American director, Cord Keller.

The 1-day Video for Advocacy Workshop is a crash course customized for human rights activists who need to enhance their production skills to record, edit and distribute “witness” or evidentiary activity using cellphones and inexpensive mini-camcorders.



Many students leave a workshop in a void of “what next” with too little or no encouragement and support. Thanks to partnership with Documentary Arts Asia our program has an institutionalized support system – priceless to students after study is completed and the long hard road to creating films and careers begins. The follow-up support includes:

• Access to 100+ film screenings a year
• Workshops on vital ancillary topics like website design and grant-writing
• Opportunity to screen “work in progress” to get feedback from professional filmmakers
• Micro-grants for financial aid
• DAA’s “Artists in Residency” program
• “Training of Trainers” workshops for graduates to share skills with their own communities


  • We are currently applying for a 501(c)(3) to incorporate as a nonprofit enterprise. Please contact us if you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution and we will notify you once we have IRS approval.

    Thank you for your consideration.


Please enter your contact details and a short message below and we will try to answer your query as soon as possible.