About Tilt


To teach young people, who are typically underrepresented and misrepresented in media, the fundamentals of movie-making and media literacy through hands on training in video production.

Young people have life long skills for accessing, evaluating, analyzing & producing media in order to make positive change in themselves and their communities.


  • Media literacy through video production
  • Collaboration
  • Student-centered learning/youth ownership over process
  • Youth voice & representation
  • Accessibility to low-income youth
  • Working with underserved populations
  • Diversity
  • Ongoing support for young filmmakers
  • Storytelling
  • Experiential hands-on learning
  • Professionalism
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Engaging & compelling finished works
  • Community

Bay Area video artist Lise Swenson conceived of TILT in 1995 while working with a group of teens in a continuation high school in San Francisco. The initial goal of the project was to produce a short PSA-style AIDS awareness video. This goal, though accepted as standard media arts-in-education programming, generated little real interest among the youth. As an alternative Swenson gave students the opportunity to tell a narrative story in their own words and style dealing with the reality and impact of AIDS in their lives and community. The youth immersed themselves in the project and created Love Between A Boy And Girl, a 23-minute video that premiered to a packed screening room at KQED.

The enormous and unexpected success of this project caused Swenson to undertake a thorough evaluation of the project in the hopes of creating a model for future use. From this evaluation and modeling process TILT was born and became its own 501(c)(3) in 1998. Since that time, TILT has facilitated more than 100 workshops in collaboration with Bay Area schools, after-school programs, and community organizations and has served more than 2,000 youth.  TILT's award-winning youth produced movies have been exhibited in local art galleries and museums and at film and video festivals across the United States.

Since 2003, TILT has been part of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center as one of eight media arts organizations who share a belief in the power of independent media to preserve and record cultural heritage, to give voice to underrepresented communities and individuals, and to broaden the way people see themselves and others. In 2008, TILT secured a permanent home at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center by becoming its official youth program.



Robyn Bykofsky, Media Education Director
Robyn Bykofsky has spent the past 12 years working closely with San Francisco Bay Area educators and youth in public schools, afterschool programs and non-profit organizations to better engage learners through digital media production Throughout this time, she has been actively involved with TILT –participating in its first teacher-training workshop in December of 1999, instructing dozens of media literacy/video production workshops, developing curriculum, consulting with the design of TILT’s new website, and now taking on the role of the Youth Media Manager.

In addition to TILT, Robyn has designed sound for independent films, several which have been official selections in film festivals around the globe She was also the Staff Sound Engineer at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for five seasons, where she assisted several nationally acclaimed sound designers and was the Sound Coordinator for the world premier production of Danny Hoch’s Taking Over.  She received her BA in audio and video production from San Francisco State University and holds a Masters in Education with a focus in technology from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Robyn is committed to teaching media literacy and critical thinking skills through hands-on digital media production. She enjoys working with youth as they discover innovative ways for self-expression.

Jason Wyman 

Jason Wyman, Interim TILT Program Manager
Jason Wyman brings over 20 years of youth development and arts education experience to TILT. He is a life-long educator, writer, performer and learner. Jason hails from Minnesota and fled the frigid winters and muggy summers for what he assumed was sunny California. He was greeted instead by the ocean wind, foggy days, and fits of rain. And he loves it. 

Jason is a consummate connector. His skillful networking, which is rooted in compassion and creativity, has brought over a million dollars of in-kind services and peer-based education to communities across the San Francisco Bay Area with a special emphasis on historically marginalized communities, youth, seniors and cultural workers. He has worked for OMI/Excelsior Beacon Center, California School-Age Consortium, The Partnership for Children and Youth, San Francisco Unified School District, Youth Development Peer Network/Youth Worker: Collective, Adobe Youth Voices and the YMCA. 

For the past seven years, Jason has focused on developing his own artistic practices in writing, performance, media, and curation. In 2011, he co-founded 14 Black Poppies with his friend and colleague Margaret Bacon Schulze to cultivate community, arts, and wellness by producing events that shine a light on local talents. Since its inception, 14 Black Poppies has produced over 200 events working with over 150 artists, healers, writers, performers, musicians, media makers, and scientists. 


TILT Media Arts Instructors are award-winning media and filmmaking industry professionals with a background in youth development.  They provide technical training, support, and facilitate the filmmaking process.  TILT instructors challenge students to continually evaluation the mesages they are sending out, while creating a democratic, experience-based classroom where all voices are equally respected.

Kapi'olani (Pi'o) Lee, TILT Media Arts Instructor
Kapi'olani is a filmmaker and visual artist living in the Bay Area. Through live action and animation, she is interested in exploring traditional indigenous storytelling in new and innovative ways. A Pacific Islanders in Communication grant recipient, her previous work has aired on the ‘Olelo channel in Hawai’i, as well as archived and used in Ethnic and American Studies curriculum at schools such as UC-Berkeley, Arizona State University, University of Washington, and Wesleyan University. Kapi’olani’s current project, In the Land of Po, is an experimental animated short which channels the unique and vibrant mythology of Hawai`i through stories inspired by her personal family history.


Mariama Nance, TILT Media Arts Educator
Mariama Nance has over ten years of experience working with digital media. Her projects include documentary films, film festivals and producing media for nonprofit organizations. While in New York she worked on the weekly investigative journalism show NOW with Bill Moyers (Channel Thirteen/PBS). Nance is a native of San Francisco. She became involved with TILT in 2011 as a video mentor on TILT’s collaboration with the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival. She earned a B.F.A from New York University in Dramatic Writing (Screenwriting) and an M.J. (Documentary Film) from UC Berkeley. She is committed to transforming public media and thrilled to be a TILT Media Arts Educator.

Matthew Perifano, TILT Media Arts Educator
Matthew Perifano has been involved in community-based arts since the 1970s.  He is an instructor of film studies and video production at International High School in San Francisco. He has an MA in Interdisciplinary Creative Arts from San Francisco State University where he was introduced to working with youth in media literacy and video production by TILT founder, Lise Swenson. He has been an instructor with TILT since 1998. 


Jason Boyce, TILT Assistant Media Arts Educator
Jason Boyce is a San Francisco-based writer, director, cinematographer and editor. He has been making commercials, feature films, documentaries and short films across the world, as well as teaching film production at the Film & Video Workshop in London, England and now for TILT at Ninth Street Film Center in San Francisco. His most recent documentary, “Destination: Rossport, Ireland,” was shot in Ireland and recently screened at the Globians Doc Fest in Stüttgart, Germany. His current project is slated to take him to the heart of El Salvador in the summer of 2011. Visit his portfolio and blog site at www.jasonboyce.com.



"I am excited to be working with TILT and look forward to helping a new generation discover their own unique abilities. During my final year at film school I worked an internship with TILT, experiencing firsthand the creative energy and open mind they promoted. Later after graduation, I was fortunate to work in the same education department, alongside the program. Now after venturing out and navigating the ever-changing realm of independent film, I am happy to share what I can as a TILT instructor."






TILT programs equip young people with the tools to critically understand media messages and creatively use media for self-expression and community building. Throughout the video production process, participants gain valuable experience in critical thinking, project planning, decision-making, collaborating, giving/receiving feedback, and exhibiting.


The most important way TILT teaches media literacy is by modeling deep critical thinking skills every step of the way. It is the role of the TILT Media Arts Educator to make sure every decision is a conscious one. What messages are we sending and why? Is this really what we want to say about...? What does it mean to use this lighting? This shot angle? What will our audience leave with?


TILT Programs emphasize high production values and high quality final products.  TILT uses professional digital video cameras and  industry standard professional editing software.  From brainstorming through storyboarding, to script-writing through editing, TILT faciliators guide participants through the process of professional video production.


TILT believes that teaching young people how to create and analyze media using accessible digital tools (mobile media devices that they already use and free web-based media creation/exhibition software) will not only empower them, but also provide them with the necessary technical skills, knowledge, and critical thinking skills for personal and professional growth.