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New Program at Jacob Burns Film Center Nurtures Young Filmmakers

Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is arming the next generation of filmmakers with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in their industry. Its new Creative Culture initiative aims to fill a gap in support for post-college / pre-career filmmakers by creating a supportive network for these young innovators. The program accomplishes this not only through the introduction of equipment and resources, but also by helping these young visionaries to make connections, strengthen their storytelling skills and learn how to market their projects.

Creative Culture Director Sean Weiner explains of the program: “It’s important that this isn’t a place that rips the rug out from under the maker after they finish the film. We will continue to explore ways to help give legs to the work developed here.”

JBFC launched the short films of its seven inaugural filmmakers at an event last month, during which a wonderfully diverse array of films were shown: Alex Gonzalez brought audiences on a virtual reality journey through a mysterious landscape; Leah Galant documented a poignant and heartwarming friendship between two Holocaust survivors; Lucy Adams examined differing perspectives about internet addiction; Emily Ann Hoffman used stop-motion Claymation to tell a candid story of a couple in an uncomfortable situation; Kervin Marseille incorporated Haitian culture into his surreal and poetic narrative; Reweina Tessema brought humor to a personal human experience from her youth; and Stefaniya Vey’s emotional personal experience was turned into visual storytelling through music.

During their semester in the program, participating filmmakers have access to JBFC’s media lab, including filming equipment, editing software and mentoring opportunities. JBFC is taking applications for a new semester of the initiative. The deadline is July 1. For more info, visit burnsfilmcenter.org.

A version of this article first appeared in the April 2017 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews

Photo caption: (l to r) Filmmakers Kervin Marseille, Lucy Adams, Emily Ann Hoffman, and Stefaniya Vey, Creative Culture Director Sean Weiner, and makers Alex Gonzalez, Reweina Tessema, and Leah Galant at the launch of the Jacob Burns Film Center’s Creative Culture initiative. (photo credit: Lynda Shenkman Curtis)