Art has the power to transform society.

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How we work

FYI has changed lives. Films by Youth Inside has engaged more than TWO HUNDRED incarcerated youth in an intensive, fundamental filmmaking program. These young men have produced more than FORTY short films.


FYI has changed minds. Filmmaking requires teamwork and cooperation – no matter who is on your crew. FYI has inspired young filmmakers to cross cultural and racial lines to make the best films they can.


FYI films have changed people on the outside. FYI films have been shown at libraries, universities, film festivals, and have been seen by opinion leaders, elected officials and corporate leaders. These films have helped inform public policy, have broken down preconceptions and prejudices, and, in some cases, changed peoples’ ideas about their own lives.


FYI plans to reach out to more communities. We plan to continue our successful program at Camp Gonzales and bring the program to other communities.


FYI can benefit young women, too. Young women who are incarcerated have their own stories to tell. As part of FYI’s master plan, FYI will expand its work to women’s facilities.


The meaning of inside can change. Young people who are “inside” – incarcerated in youth correctional facilities – feel they have no power or say in society. They sometimes feel they lack the skills or access to have an impact on our culture. Through the medium of film, many of these youth have found themselves “inside” in a different way – a valued part of society, understood by others, respected  as artists, storytellers and men. This transformation is the real mission of FYI.


Art is more powerful than violence.





Student Feedback


“FYI FILMS made me a more open person.” -Davis H.


“Since taking the FYI FILMS workshop, I have more hope for a better future.”  -Fila W.  


“I learned that I can work well with others who are different from me.”  -Leroy G.


“I played a lead character in our movie, and now I have confidence that I can do anything.” - Joel R.


“I liked this program because I think it helped to make me a better man.”  -Alonzo Z.


“I like the FYI FILMS staff because they never give up on us.  And I’m glad many people can see our movies because it will help them to understand us better.”  -Gustavo R.


“Making movies about our lives and the decisions we made help us to improve our lives.  I wish there was more programs like this in every LA County Probation camp.” -Jose M.


“I co wrote the screenplay for ‘Coming Home’ and after the film won Best Short Film at LA Film Fest, I am excited about writing. I want to be a writer and tell important stories about struggle, hope, and love.”   -Antoine D.