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Making it in the LA Film Biz: High-Need Youth Gain Career Skills at Summer Film Academy

Many Los Angeles high school students, especially those in under-served neighborhoods, lack access to the skills needed to work the region’s signature industry.
CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) launched its Summer Film Academy to help prepare high school students for college-level film programs or work in the film industry.

July 20, 2017-Valencia, CA—A new summer program helps students in South Los Angeles prepare for jobs where they live. The CAPSA Summer Film Academy offers intensive hands-on film instruction to 150 high-need students at Susan Miller Dorsey High School. Offered by California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), through its award-winning CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), this four-week series of classes introduces students to the skills needed to work in the industry or as independent filmmakers. It also offers one-on-one mentorship in professional development, college readiness and career planning. The Summer Film Academy expands and amplifies ongoing curriculum instituted by Dorsey High film teacher Robyn Charles.
The CAPSA Summer Film Academy runs from July 10 to August 4. A culminating screening event will take place on the Sony Pictures studio lot in Culver City.
Through intensive instruction, students learn about the creative, technical and entrepreneurial aspects of filmmaking as well as strategies for marketing their own films. Areas of study include acting, animation, cinematography, directing, musical scoring, screenwriting and set design. Participants will also attend workshops with visiting artists and visit Los Angeles's most prominent filmmaking institutions. CAP’s engagement with Dorsey High will continue with an animation program launching in Fall 2017.
"This is the beginning of a pipeline development program. Workforce education in South Los Angeles can reflect the needs of Hollywood," said CAP Managing Director Nadine Rambeau. To achieve these goals, CAP brought together a roster of regional supporters to make the academy a reality. The Summer Film Academy is underwritten by Eileen Harris Norton, President of the Eileen Harris Norton Family Foundation and Co-Founder of Art + Practice, a South LA based contemporary art and foster youth social service nonprofit. Other locally based partners include Sony Pictures Entertainment and real estate development company Carmel Partners. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and AmeriCorp are also academy partners.
"The CAPSA Summer Film Academy exposes students to careers in their own backyard, which ultimately helps enhance our local communities. Sony Pictures is proud to support this program with equipment that allows students to create and explore opportunities in the film industry," said Janice Pober, Sony Pictures Entertainment's Senior VP, Corporate Social Responsibility.
The award-winning CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), a co-curricular program of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), offers free after-school, summer, and school-based arts programs for youth ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts. Programs are offered at public schools, community centers and social service agencies, covering a thousand square mile radius across Los Angeles County. With classes led by a teaching corps of accomplished CalArts faculty, alumni, and student instructors, CAP participants learn to create original works of art and to experiment with prevailing conventions of artistic expression. CAP’s success has served as a model for other arts education organizations locally and nationally. And the program has received numerous honors, including the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which recognizes exemplary programs that foster the creative and intellectual development of America’s children.
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools – Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater – CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institution envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.