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Motion Picture Academy Supports Cal State LA's New Urban Stories Film Incubator

Motion Picture Academy Supports Cal State LA's New Urban Stories Film Incubator

California State University, Los Angeles has received a $15,000 grant from the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy's grants were established to identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists.

"Cal State LA is honored to receive this grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Their recognition and support means so much to our students," said Professor Kristiina Hackel, who is the grant's principal investigator.

The prestigious grant awarded to the University's Television, Film and Media Studies (TVFM) department will help launch the Urban Stories Film Incubator.

The incubator will be a year-long experience during which students will create short films or documentaries that tell their diverse stories while developing their filmmaking skills. The film project will be coordinated by Professor Hackel and Professor Jane McKeever.

The idea for the incubator was inspired by I Know Who I Am, a one-minute PSA that won the jury award at Outfest Fusion, a multicultural, gender inclusive and LGBT film festival. The film was produced by a team of students, faculty and staff from Cal State LA's TVFM department.

"The goal is establish a forum to nurture students to tell stories that reflect their communities, from Central Los Angeles to East L.A. to San Gabriel Valley," said McKeever. "At the same time, the incubator will help them build skills to find a place in the film industry."

The Department of TVFM is housed in the state-of-the-art Television, Film and Media Center. The department offers an MFA in TV, Film and Theatre. The program brings the three creative arms of the entertainment industry-production, writing and acting-together in cohorts.

"Through the incubator, teams of undergraduate and graduate students from TVFM and TVFT will be guided through pre-production, production, and post-production for two semesters to create three short films that tell their diverse, community stories. I am excited to see what the students will accomplish," Hackel said.

The Academy's grants program provides financial support to qualifying film festivals, educational institutions and film scholars and supports the Academy's overall mission to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures.

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