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New York Film Student Alliance holds first summit

by jmaloni

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Tue, Dec 9th 2014 01:00 pm

New organization will work to promote and support next generation of homegrown film talent

Empire State Development announced the first annual summit to promote the formation of the New York Film Student Alliance was held Saturday. The daylong event was held on two campuses - Ithaca College in the Finger Lakes and Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn - and attended by more than 200 students.

In addition to a full day of panels and breakout sessions held at each campus, the day included 90 minutes of virtual programming featuring film industry speakers originating from Kingsborough and broadcast to Ithaca and Rochester Institute of Technology. With the creation of its first chapter at Ithaca College, NYFSA aims to be a new student-run organization that will bring together film students from the dozens of New York campuses across the state that offer production majors or minors in film or television production and post-production.

"New York state's natural resources, striking architecture, vibrant communities and innovative incentive programs are luring record-breaking numbers of film and television productions to New York state," said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "I commend the New York Film Student Alliance for tapping into the unlimited potential of all the emerging talent we have here in the Empire State."

The weekend's summit featured presentations on a variety of topics, including the latest Canon and Arri cameras, Avid Media Composer software and the art of production design; workshops on the Cinematographers Guild; acting; and a Q&A with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Two programs at Kingsborough were broadcast live to audiences at Ithaca and R.I.T.: a panel discussion on "The Changing Face of the Production Industry" featured Debbie Bartok of McCann New York; Yana Collins Lehman, managing director of Trevanna Post; independent producer Erin Lee Carr; and Marcelo Gandola, EVP Hogarth North America. The second broadcast presentation featured a conversation with Alex Halpern, the founder and owner of Post Factory NY, and an award-winning director and producer of films, music videos, commercials and TV.

"In launching this first chapter of NYFSA here at Ithaca College, our students are sending an invitation to campuses across the state," said Chrissy Guest, assistant professor of television-radio program in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. "Working together through NYFSA, New York's film and television students can share resources and ideas, create collaborative programs and events to showcase their work, and expand their networking opportunities from Long Island to Niagara Falls. NYFSA will encourage the development of a sense of community and shared identity among aspiring filmmakers across New York state, with all the diversity and uniqueness that represents."

"New York state is graced with an abundance of extremely talented, enthusiastic and committed film students who already boast an impressive body of work," said Gigi Semone, executive director of the governor's office for motion picture and television development. "These students are not only serious about being filmmakers, many of them are also determined to pursue film in New York. The idea here was to bring them together as a community so they can not only share ideas, resources and support, but create a unified voice for the next generation of homegrown film talent. NYFSA will empower this group on many different levels, and we look forward to helping them reach their goals."

With the success of this summit and the demonstrated enthusiasm of the participating film and TV students to network with one another at the various schools, the governor's office for motion picture and television development has committed to helping make the NYFSA Summit an annual event. In addition, MPTV will continue to actively engage with students through a series of "New York Loves Film" workshops at colleges and universities they've been holding in each of the state's 10 economic development regions since October 2013. These workshops have included meetings between groups of regional filmmakers, industry business executives and film and television students; in fact it was these workshops that prompted the conversations that ultimately led to the creation of NYFSA.

"I've lived in upstate New York for most of my life," said Elena DeLuccia, one of the NYFSA founders and ambassadors at Ithaca College. "My family, friends and passions are here in New York state. Being a part of NYFSA at Ithaca College has provided me with numerous opportunities to work on projects in my home state with industry professionals all over - ranging from short films being shot in my region to becoming art department coordinator on a full feature-length film shot in Syracuse. I'm going to be working with the college to create a New York Film Student Alliance club on campus to provide these amazing opportunities for any future filmmakers on our campus - not just the current ambassadors. I can't wait to help other students start their careers and make some amazing connections in New York state. Becoming a part of this organization is one of the best decisions I've ever made."

"I am very happy to learn of the creation of the New York Film Student Alliance," said John Ford, president of the Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local 52 IATSE. "Production levels in New York are at an all-time high, so any programs that will help fill the need for a sustainable workforce for our industry going forward is good news. I, along with all the IATSE New York Production Locals, look forward to working with the members of NYFSA to keep New York state residents employed in New York."

"New York is a robust market for film and TV production," said State Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. "And it's important that the film students of today learn the industry skills needed to be leaders on the exceedingly high-tech productions of tomorrow. By bringing young creative minds together, NYFSA doesn't just benefit students; it also benefits the future of filmmaking in New York. I look forward to seeing NYFSA as it grows and supports the next generation of New York talent and creativity."

"I've worked with students from Kingsborough Community College and some of the other great schools in New York training our next generation of editors and post-production artists, and this NYFSA launch will provide a statewide resource to build not only their careers, but those of all young talent graduating from our colleges and universities," said Paul Moore, eastern executive director, Motion Picture Editors Guild Local 700

"The future of the entertainment industry is in the hands of today's students, who are consuming, getting inspired by, and making content," said Yana Collins Lehman, chair, Post New York Alliance. "The Post New York Alliance couldn't be more proud to be part of the early formation of the New York Film Students Alliance. Just as the post-production industry found its voice by joining forces and consolidating our goals, so too can these students, located all across our great state, increase their opportunities by organizing together. The PNYA looks forward to years of mentorship and participation in creating a pathway for these emerging talents into the entertainment industry."

About the Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development

The New York state governor's office for motion picture and television development, a division of Empire State Development, offers film, television and commercial productions and post-production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers. For more information on filming in New York or the film production and post-production tax credit programs, visit www.nylovesfilm.com.

ESD is New York's chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the state and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York. ESD is the primary administrative agency overseeing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I Love NY," the state's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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