Spotlight

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Recent alumna Ingrid Allen was selected for FMS Summer Internship Award, with generous donation from UCI History Alumni, Leon Dudevoir!

Ingrid Allen Alumna (class of 2020)

Ingrid Allen had this to say about her experience as a summer intern at Optimist Films:

Working with ​Optimist Films as a ​summer intern​ has been an incredible opportunity made possible with the support of the UCI FMS department. Thank you Sylvia and Prof. Rony. Optimist Films is known for their documentaries and companion “impact campaigns” that aim to make a positive difference in areas like immigration reform and microlending for rural communities in the Global South. During my summer internship, Optimist Films was preparing for the release of two new projects: ​Five Years North​, a feature documentary that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and a short documentary, ​The Undocumented Lawyer​. Both documentaries are accompanied by educational and advocacy campaigns rolling out virtually across the nation. 

I have enjoyed wearing many hats within this impactful nonprofit documentary company, from graphic design to video producing and production. Working remotely, I had the opportunities to work independently and collaboratively with the social media team on a variety of projects.

A highlight for me included when I pitched a mini-documentary for Optimist’s Facebook and other social media platforms and safely aided in the production in Hollywood and Long Beach. I’m excited for this mini-documentary to come out in the fall. 

I also created over 50 partnership press kits using Adobe Illustrator and Acrobat, developing new skills and honing old ones. I conducted research for a number of projects including the unreleased films and assisted in the education campaigns, gaining familiarity with web tools such as Niche and Edmodo.

In addition, I explored the rapid rise of TikTok and how to best utilize that platform for a film/video production company. I applied editing skills that I gained over my college career to create TikToks on current events and positive news stories through daily research and outreach. 

Overall, I have gained invaluable insight and experience into professional communication and practices in a film environment. I also had the pleasure of getting to know other team members located around the US. Optimist Films co-founder Chris and Zach served as incredible mentors, sharing their knowledge and experiences biweekly in virtual Q&A workshops on a variety of topics, from running your own small business to finding documentary stories. They’ve definitely shaped what I want to prioritize and accomplish in my own film career. I am so grateful to have worked with them (even from afar)--they are amazing documentary filmmakers leading the way in how film can create positive change.