Filmworthy Elective 

Sybil Patten

Sybil Patten is a documentary filmmaker, freelance video producer and educator. 

Patten offers a unique combination of filmmaking, journalistic and pedagogic skills, as well as vibrant curiosity, empathy, and motivation to engage the world via multimedia storytelling. Currently, Patten is working on a documentary about The Community School, the first alternative high school in Maine.


In 2022 Patten launched Filmworthy, an affordable nonfiction video workshop for high school students in New York City.  This program supports students as they produce their short documentaries.  Since students film on their smartphones, they are encouraged to continue producing videos to hone their skills and to capture the many stories within their communities.

Student Short Documentaries

Students produced one to five minute profile documentaries about an individual from their community.  Students' subjects include: family members, people from their school and professionals from their neighborhoods. 

Below is a selection of final projects.  Some students chose to work independently, while others worked in small groups.  All videos are shot using the student’s smartphone then edited with the support of  the teachers (Sybil Patten & Marin Pascual) as well as their classmates' peer feedback. 


Beatriz Maia

Beatriz profiles Anderson, her brother-in-law, about his passion for flying.

Eldarija Cobic

Dara profiles Ms. Yanira who shares the challenges and joys of teaching at MIHS.

Josuel Perdomo

Josuel profiles his uncle Jose about being a building superintendent in Brooklyn, and how his life and the city has changed over 40 years.

Aldo Rojas Salazar

Aldo turns the camera on himself and his own immigration story, honestly describing the challenges of leaving home and living in a new land.

Daniel Lache

Daniel brings the viewer on a trip from the Bronx to his godmother’s home in Long Island where they discuss adapting to a new country.

Genesis Cullqui

Genesis sits down with her mom Ana; she describes moving from Ecuador, being a mother and the unique personality of each daughter. 

Ariana Alba

Ariana profiles her father Gabriel about leaving Ecuador first for California and then New York City. 

Maria Jose Perez 

Maria profiles her mother, Patricia, who talks about driving a cab in Ecuador, her challenges as a teenager, and her advice to youths today.

Aihem Mubarez, Mena Asim & Saleh Kaid

Aihem and Mena profile their classmate Saleh about Yemen, life during the pandemic, and being a teenager in New York City.

Linette Leonardo

Linnette profiles her cousin Marolin about adjusting to her new life as a teenager in New York City.

Roberto Chantes & Aimme Ortega Retama

Roberto and Aimme sit down with their assistant principal Mr. Moses to learn about how he became assistant principal, and why he loves Manhattan International High School. 

Silvia Colorado

Silvia interviews herself about immigrating from Guatemala, working and going to high school in New York City.

Maria Olmoz

Maria interviews her father, Oscar, about one of the most difficult moments in Oscar’s life, losing his father.

Tachit Ketavanan & Na Young Lee

Na Young and Tachit profile Mr. Bill who sells Christmas Trees on a busty Manhattan corner; Mr. Bill shares the highs and lows of his seasonal job.

Jennifer Vasquez Corte

Jennifer interviews her uncle Carlos about recent changes in his life. 


Coming soon...