MASSENA — A new school opens its doors in September.
Registrations are underway for the Film Academy 2022, offered by Film Massena.
Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 10. and 17 Dec. at the Masséna Public Library.
“We are delighted that the registration period is finally open,” said Elijah O. Winfrey, coordinator of Film Massena. “Since this is our first year, we wanted to run a pilot program to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.”
The schedule calls for Class A to run from 9:10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., followed by a break from 10:20 a.m. to 10:35 a.m., Class B from 10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., and Q&A with the instructor. Noelle Hannibal from 11:50 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“This year’s program will include eight teaching dates for up to 20 students,” Winfrey said. “Each date will feature two classes for a total of 16 classes.”
He said the classes will include lesson plans addressing both in-front and behind-the-camera talent.
“The intention of this instruction is to properly develop filmmakers in the region who can then produce their own films or be employed by film productions coming to the region to shoot,” he said.
The cost is $150 for the eight days and students must attend at least 80% of the classes to receive their certificate upon completion.
“Students will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis,” Winfrey said. “Students will need to be adults 18+ or high school students with parental consent. They have until August 30 to register.
“Towards the bottom of the page will be all the instructions they need to register,” he said. “It was important for everyone to keep tuition fees low for students so that more people could participate. Through our research, we found similar educational opportunities in this field costing close to $500 or more. So we hope our community will see how affordable we make this without sacrificing quality.
Ms. Hannibal, the instructor, has extensive film and theater experience. She appeared in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” as part of the Sisterhood of Jhe. She also appeared in “Star Trek: Voyager” as a Taresian woman, with the film “Star Trek: First Contact”. She has the unique distinction of representing the first Vulcan woman on Earth.
Originally from Los Angeles, Ms. Hannibal made her professional theatrical debut playing Chrissy in “Hair”, then moved to Ireland to tour the country, starring in “Lock Up Your Daughters” (Hilaret). Los Angeles theater credits include “Chicago” (Velma), “Gypsy” (Mazeppa), and “Miss Saigon” (Gigi). Montreal theater credits include “South Park” (Sheila), “Rent” (Mimi), “Chess” (Florence), “The Who’s Tommy” (Mrs. Walker), “Hair” (Sheila) “The Last Five Years” (Cathy), “True Love Lies” (Carolyn) and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Yitzhak).
She currently resides in Montreal where she runs her theater company, In the Wings Promotions. She also performs regularly in concerts, cabarets and musical theater productions.
“It was important for us to have an instructor who not only has experience, but is also still involved in the industry,” Winfrey said. “It will give students a head start because they won’t get outdated information.”
He said the Film Academy represents a great opportunity for Massena and neighboring communities.
“It’s a game-changer if people sign up and take advantage of this opportunity,” he said. “If even five students take what they learn and apply it, that means there will be five well-developed new filmmakers in our area. Who knows how many productions they will start here or how many jobs they will create with these productions? It could be the start of something big if the opportunity is taken. I can’t thank Noelle or the library enough for seeing the vision and agreeing to be a part of it.