New international filmmaking school opens in Cebu City
Lights, camera, action!
A school for film-making has opened in Cebu offering industry-standard equipment to tap creative talents in the country and foreign students who enroll.
Filipinos have a reputation of being some of the best animators in the world but are outsourced by clients.
“We want to change that and put the Philippines in the global map of the best filmmakers and animators,” said Jeanette Tongoy, chief executive officer of the Film and Media Arts International Academy.
The academy announced their program offerings in yesterday’s press briefing at the former Sacred Heart School campus, a 20,000 square-foot facility in Gen. Maxilom Avenue in Cebu City.
There’s a big potential for the filmmaking industry in the country including Cebu where there is an abundance of talent available and great locations to shoot, said Carey Rothman, FMA co-founder and creative director.
“What is needed is more infrastructure that can support the filmmaking industry, and that’s what we aim for,” he said.
Tongoy, FMA executive officer, said they invested in the latest equipment for the school and have the best teachers on board.
Tongoy recalled her experience when she enrolled in a nine-week filmmaking program in another school in Cebu.
She said the school lacked a community outreach program and thoroughness in teaching students to produce high standard outputs.
“I think we can do better. This is our way of elevating Philippine TV and cinema,” she said.
The academy has two programs accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) – a one-year Filmmaking program with a maximum class size of 16 and a 15-month 3D Animation program with at most 12 in a class.
Students are taught screenwriting, directing, producing, production design, cinematography, film editing, acting for film, visual effects, cinema studies and sound recording and mixing.
In the 3D Animation course, they learn about animating characters and programming, said FMA academic director Timothy Doolen.
The school also offers short programs for acting workshops, comic book design and DJ courses.
Aaron Cisneros, FMA admissions director, said they are also working on a program to offer video game design.
According to Doolen, they also prepared a K+12 program for both film making and animation.
“We already sent the proposal to Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and St. Theresa’s College. If accepted, our first intake would be in June 2017.
“We would only be available in a high school student’s 12th year,” said Doolen.
He said K+12 students would be immersed in the same filmmaking and animation programs and courses as the school’s regular students but with fewer classes.
He said they are open to partner with other interested high schools in Cebu.
An initial 10 students are enrolled in the academy. All except one are local residents.
“The interest is high in the local market. We anticipate more students from all over the country and abroad will be enrolling,” he said.
Rothman said India, Europe and other Asian countries are potential markets for the school.
“India, which has a developed filmmaking industry, will need a school that offers the best programs with industry standard equipment,” he said.
“Europeans will also love to get out of the cold and study here. More students from other countries in Asia are expected because FMA has the latest equipment at the best price not to mention the lower cost of living here,” he said.
According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers or PwC, the largest professional services company, the revenue for the industry will grow from $88.3 billion in 2013 to $110.1 billion in 2018.
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