Janine Spruill

Janine Spruill

Founder & Executive Director

Lil' Filmmakers

Philadelphia, PA USA

At the end of the day, if no one is offering you the opportunity, you have to create the opportunity for yourself.


By Roadtrip Nation

Janine Spruill

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Janine Spruill Highlight
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My Motivation Comes From Helping The Youth In My Community
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How And Why I Started Lil’ Filmmakers
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How I Found A Love For Filmmaking
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The Importance Of Representation In Media
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I Created My Own Opportunities After College
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Overcoming Roadblocks Through Self-Learning And Networking
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Finding A Work-Life Balance While Running A Nonprofit
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Advice For Building A Career In Film From Scratch
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Financial Advice For Entrepreneurs And Filmmakers
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Examples Of Different Jobs In The Film Industry
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Blocking Out The Noise To Pursue My Passion
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Know Yourself, Find Your Tribe, And Take Initiative
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Challenges Of Getting Funding And Growing A Small Organization
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Film Industry Opportunities In Philadelphia
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Prioritize Yourself Through Self-Care And Self-Learning
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I Find Joy In Making An Impact In Philadelphia


My road in life has been direct.
I developed an interest and passion for film at a young age.
By the time I got to college, I had already spent a lot of time reading about film and media.
I went to Temple University for my degree in film and media arts.
While in college, I earned extra money through video production—I’d get hired to film weddings, birthday parties, special events, and conferences.
As I got close to graduating, I saw that there weren’t many opportunities for someone with a film major, so I continued to earn money and build my portfolio through freelancing.
During my senior year of college, I decided to volunteer at my former elementary school and teach the kids how to use my video camera, write scripts, and perform.
As more people learned about what I was doing, I got offers to bring my program to other schools and summer camps—I invested the money I earned back into the business.
I turned the program into a nonprofit organization, Lil’ Filmmakers, and have been teaching kids to tell their stories through film and media for 20 years now!
Keep following my journey


High School
Film and Media Arts
Temple University


Founder & Executive Director

I lead an organization that teaches young people to use film and media to tell their story.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

My favorite part of my day is arriving at our studio space. I designed it to be warm and inviting. Our artists come to the studio to work on their video projects together. They're writers, actors, directors, cinematographers, musicians, animators, editors, etc. I check in with them about their scripts, production needs, budgets, etc. Then I meet with my staff to discuss program and project development. I troubleshoot any issues and plan for our social media, website, and newsletter updates.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

If you want to be a filmmaker, college isn't necessary unless you want that experience. You can create your own educational experience if you're disciplined and dedicated to your craft. Study the greats. Watch a lot of films and TV shows. Read interviews with people in the industry. Research the history of the film industry and how it works. Get involved with film organizations that offer classes, workshops, or productions you can work on. Take classes, then work on as many projects as you can.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You need to get a real job. Get a nine to five. That's the path to success."