Backpack Filmmaking: Stories for Social Change

This is the first and only film course in South East Asia offering students the chance to create films that help make the world a better place, while using just their own phones and equipment that fits in a small backpack.This This course is organized in a new and innovative collaboration between Ewing Communications and the IDEAS Hub.

The course will focus on using a narrative filmmaking approach to tell stories about issues that are important to a new generation of socially and environmentally aware students, while also teaching them to be lean, adaptable and savvy rather than reliant on expensive equipment and gadgetry.

In short, it is the first ever phone based filmmaking course in the region, and it’s the only film course that highlights the immense potential of telling visual stories to do good. The course will be designed, taught and run by Tejas Ewing with significant input from guest lecturers in the industry, site visits to film studios and both classroom learning and interactive elements, including an entire week of mentored filmmaking, resulting in a completed film for every team.

The course has now been postponed to the later part of 2017. Stay tuned to find out more!


Key People 

Tejas Ewing
CEO of Ewing Communications

Tejas Ewing is a Journalist and Author covering social justice issues, a Filmmaker and CEO of Ewing Communications. He specialises in creating innovative learning programmes for NGOs, Academia, Government and the wider non-profit sector. As a filmmaker, he studied at Prague Film School, and has worked on over 15 short films, including both Award-Winning and Award-Nominated films. Tejas is also a proud member of the UWCSEA alumni community and graduated from the Class of ‘98.

He has a passion for telling compelling stories that encourage audiences to think about social and environmental issues. His goal is to inspire the next generation of filmmakers to get out there and make films with the tools they already have: a phone, an idea and the commitment to work hard and have fun!

Important Skills and Takeaways


What will Participants Learn?

This is an innovative course covering lean and adaptive phone-based filmmaking, with an emphasis on positive stories that will affect social change.

  1. Every student will learn how to tell good stories that change people’s minds and actions for the better, about issues they care about
  2. Every student will learn the basics of narrative filmmaking including writing, planning, film techniques, sound and editing
  3. Every student will learn these techniques with a focus on using their own phone or tablet and a small amount of additional equipment that will fit in a small backpack
  4. Every student will be part of a team that helps develop their leadership skills and collaborative talents, and every team will complete a short film during the course

How will Participants Learn?

The course is based on exciting, fast-paced classroom learning as well as extensive group activities, learning-by-doing, outdoor filming, site visits and guest lectures. The highlight of the learning process is an intensive mentored filmmaking process where students will actively create, shoot and edit a short film with the assistance of mentors and full supervision by the instructor.

What will they get at the end of the course?

Participants will learn all the skills they need to make their own films, and everyone will play a significant role in the creation of an original short film during the course. This film can be used as part of a portfolio, and the course will include instruction and advice on how to promote and distribute their short film, and how to continue their filmmaking work and education in the future. Students will also take home valuable teamwork and leadership skills and amazing insights into using new media to create positive social impact. In short, this is a crash course in filmmaking by doing!

Course Schedule

For a more detailed breakdown of the course, you may view or download the schedule at the link below (please note that guest lecturers and site visits are in the process of being confirmed, but will be very much in keeping with what is shown in the schedule below):

[Backpack Filmmaking Course Schedule]

Location of the Course 

IDEAS Hub at UWCSEA Dover Campus will be the main venue for the course.The IDEAS Hub provides a variety of facilities and specialist areas including collaboration and fabrication zones, a coding and robotics area, two green screen film studios and a non-intrusive presentation space.

The IDEAS Hub at UWCSEA Dover Campus will be the main venue for the course. The IDEAS Hub provides a variety of facilities and specialist areas including collaboration and fabrication zones, a coding and robotics area, two green screen film studios and a non-intrusive presentation space. There is a deliberate policy to start small and be lean and adaptable, in keeping with the UWC ethos.

Students will also have a chance to experience outdoor filmmaking and be brought on site visits to various production studios and film sets, details of which will be provided closer to the date of the course.

Important Information for Parents

Parents are welcome to drop by and visit their children during the lunch breaks, and are also encouraged to visit and observe (or even help) their children during the mentored filmmaking process in the second week.

The course will officially finish on Friday, but there will be a screening party at UWCSEA for the friends and families of the students on the Saturday or Sunday evening directly after the course finishes. The final films will be shown on a big screen, and there will be food and drinks to celebrate.

This is a 2 week non-residential course. Please do arrange transport to and from UWCSEA Dover Campus during the duration of the course.

Fees and Refund Policy

The fees for this camp is SGD$1560.00.

All equipment will be provided, and students will get a course kit including learning materials, and a keepsake to remember the course.

The fees include food, transportation for site visits and a lead instructor as well as guest lecturers and mentors. Students will create their own short films in teams and the course instructor will also document the course in the form of a short film covering the process.

To register for the course, you will need to make a Non-Refundable SGD$200 deposit.
Only in the event that there are not enough participants for the camp, the deposit will be refunded

Other Enquiries

For more information please contact Melanie Tan at