Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bigfoot-owned film school carves niche in the Philippines

Business Mirror

AMERICAN teacher Nichole Post dreams of one day making films that would help create better understanding among different peoples around the world.

To achieve her dream, the 28-year-old aspiring filmmaker has taken time off from teaching English in South Korea and enrolled at the International Academy of Film and Television in the central Philippines.

The academy, ranked as one of the best film schools in the world by The Hollywood Reporter, was founded in 2004 by Bigfoot Entertainment, an independent film producer, on Mactan Island, Cebu province.

Post said she plans to apply for an internship position at Bigfoot, which also has a state-of-the art film and television studio on Mactan, or search for a producing job after finishing her one-year diploma program on filmmaking next March.

“I want to make social documentaries, like a film on the effects of the 2001 [economic] crisis on the citizens of Buenos Aires or a film on the immigration dispute between the US and Mexico,” she said.

“I want to focus on the social aspects of the issues, talk to the people and learn as much as possible from these people,” she added. “As for the public, I hope I would be able to touch someone and help them have better understanding of other people.”

Matt Lubetich, managing partner of Bigfoot Ventures Ltd, parent company of Bigfoot Entertainment, said the film school has hundreds of students from more than 30 countries around the world.

In the academy, students learn the art of filmmaking and get hands-on technical training from award-winning mentors. They also get educated about the business aspect of the industry, Lubetich said.

Lubetich noted that the academy offers courses at a third of the cost of education in other top-rated international film schools, such as New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts or Germany’s Baden-Wurtemberg Film Academy.

In a continuing effort to give its students hands-on training, the academy recently launched an immersion program that would allow students to experience working on an actual feature film production and earn film credits.

Keith Sensing, executive director of the academy, said students in the first class of the nine-month program would be working on a $1-million movie to be directed by American filmmaker and actor John Milton Branton. (Bloomberg News)

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