In the past 15 years, we've educated over 4,250 youth and launched more than 225 careers in filmmaking and storytelling.
78% of our graduates are people of color, and 58% are women.
82% of our graduates have been hired by major media, entertainment, tech, advertising, and PR companies.
BAYCAT believes that every person’s story matters. We envision a world where media and technology facilitate the telling of stories from the broadest possible range of experiences, driving people to create inclusive, equitable communities.
BAYCAT exists to end racial, gender and economic inequity by creating powerful, authentic media while diversifying the creative industry. Through the education and employment of low-income youth, young people of color, and young women in the Bay Area, and producing media for socially-minded clients, we are changing the stories that get shared with the world.
Founder, President & CEO
Raised by an immigrant single mother in New York City, Villy’s desire to tell her story forged a passion for using the digital media arts to capture stories untold and to create social change. She is the President of the SF Film Commission, a TED speaker, a Bay Area Jefferson Award winner, and was named one of 2017’s Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by SF Business Times.
Arash Malekzadeh is a multidisciplinary Iranian-American documentary filmmaker whose storytelling amplifies underrepresented voices among diverse communities. At BAYCAT, he hopes to disrupt the current media landscape in creating socially-conscious content that further promotes diverse perspectives.
BAYCAT’s mission resonates deeply with me. I was the first person to go to college in my immediate family, and one of the few women in my animation program in college.
I believe in BAYCAT's mission so much because I've personally seen my family and community members benefit from their high-quality programs and the care that their team brings to each person they serve.
The work that the youth and teens are producing based on the lessons and support they get through BAYCAT is so impressive, and excites me about what their future has to hold individually as well as it’s broader impact on social inequity.
As an attorney in the Bay Area tech field for over ten years, I see first hand just how important it is for the next generation of creators to reflect all of the unique perspectives of our community.
I attended a BAYCAT youth screening event and was blown away by the insights and bravery that was conveyed through the youth pieces. Coming from tech and entertainment, I've seen the underrepresentation first hand and believe that each of us, as leaders in our own areas, need to be a part of the change we want to see.
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