The Film Connection Partners with Judge Mathis: A One-of-a-Kind Opportunity!



The Film Connection, a film school that uses the mentor-extern approach to train new filmmakers as apprentices in real film and television production companies, has teamed with Judge Mathis to provide troubled young people a fresh start at a career in film—a prime example of the Film Connection’s commitment to give back to the community.

Through this one-of-a-kind mentoring opportunity, the school will work with television personality Judge Mathis to offer six-month externships to promising young filmmakers COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE, thanks to The Connectors scholarship fund.

Each eight-month externship will involve one-on-one instruction with an experienced film industry professional, working in a real production facility with a structured curriculum. This gives the young filmmaker the opportunity to learn the ropes in a real-world, hands-on environment while forming valuable connections within the entertainment industry. With The Connectors scholarship program, this experience will be offered to recipients at absolutely no cost.


Coming from a troubled background himself, Judge Mathis is more than just a TV judge on a reality show; he is passionate about helping troubled young people get back on their feet. Besides his work on the Judge Mathis Show, he has established several community services, including Prisoner Empowerment Education and Respect (PEER), Young Adults Asserting Themselves (YAAT), and the Mathis Community Center in his hometown of Detroit, MI.


The seeds for the Film Connection’s partnership with Judge Mathis were sown when Mathis reached out to Brian Kraft, Film Connection’s Consultant, to help a troubled young man named Tracy Wilson with a dream to be a filmmaker. Kraft made an appearance on Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers and offered Tracy a full paid externship to the Film Connection program. The experience inspired Brian Kraft and Film Connection CEO Jimi Petulla to continue giving back to the community by offering more free career externships, and The Connectors scholarship fund was established.


Traditional college is fine for some professions, but for others it can be quite expensive and largely ineffective. In many cases, externship (that is, purposeful, one-on-one training and guidance by a successful working professional) is really the best way to learn certain skills (filmmaking, for example). Apprenticeship is a time-tested teaching method that allows the extern to learn one-on-one from a seasoned professional tradesman who serves as a mentor, not just a teacher. The training can be tailored to the individual needs of the student, and by training in an actual workplace (rather than a classroom), the extern gains valuable work experience and connections that he/she could not get in a college classroom. With the film externships offered by The Film Connection, the student learns the skills more effectively while getting on the inside track within the film industry itself.

The Film Connection’s ongoing partnership with Judge Mathis is just one way the Film Connection is giving back to the community. If you would like more information on how to apply for The Connectors scholarship fund, click here. To learn more about the Film Connection and how it works, click here.

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Film Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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