Film & Video Production: Why Filmmakers Should Care About Stories

Pedro Cohen | F.I.R.S.T. Institute | Digital Film & Video Production Program Director

“True storytelling activates things within yourself that you didn’t know existed,” says Pedro Cohen, director of the Digital Film & Video Production campus program at Orlando’s F.I.R.S.T. Institute. “So much of who we are is shaped by storytelling.”

Pedro’s passion for storytelling has carried him across several continents. As a filmmaker he has studied and worked in Venezuela, Spain and the U.S. He moved to Orlando in December of 2018. “When you’ve had first-hand experience with several different cultures,” he explains, “you start to notice that a lot of the behavior in a society as a whole comes down to the stories the culture is built around.”

Despite being a talented actor and cinematographer, Pedro considers himself a storyteller first. That’s because, in his words, “cinematography and sound design can make you feel things, but storytelling can make you take action.” Pedro hopes that by sharing certain stories with his students at F.I.R.S.T. Institute, they will be motivated to act on their passions and convictions. After all, he says, “a great story can change a life.”

Although Pedro has worked on an impressive list of feature films, documentaries, short films, music videos, and commercials, he considers the work he is doing for the students at F.I.R.S.T. to be the most important of his career.

“Film students today have far more opportunities than previous generations of students,” he says “the demand for content is higher than it’s ever been, and on top of that we’re living in a time when almost every individual has access to production and distribution tools that aren’t far off from what the major studios are using. I am very optimistic about the future of the industry.”

F.I.R.S.T. Institute is a premier digital media school headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

F.I.R.S.T. offers hands-on experience for students in both online and on-campus options.

To learn more, visit

ADVERTISEMENT. Orlando Weekly news staff was not involved in the creation of this content.


Since 1990, Orlando Weekly has served as the free, independent voice of Orlando, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an Orlando Weekly Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.