MASSENA — A new school is opening its doors in September.
Registration is now underway for the 2022 Film Academy, which is being 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 Dec. 17 at the Massena Public Library.
“We’re excited that the registration period is finally open,” Film Massena coordinator Elijah O. Winfrey said. “Since it’s our first year, we wanted to run a pilot program to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.”
The schedule calls for Class A to run from 9:10 to 10:20 a.m., followed by a break from 10:20 to 10:35 a.m., Class B from 10:35 to 11:50 a.m., and questions and answers with instructor Noelle Hannibal from 11:50 a.m. to noon.
“This year’s program will feature eight dates of instruction for up to 20 students,” Mr. Winfrey said. “Each date will feature two classes for a total of 16 classes.”
He said the classes will feature lesson plans addressing both in-front-of- and behind-the-camera talent.
“The intention of this instruction is to properly develop filmmakers in the area who can then go on to produce their own films or become employed by film productions coming to the area to shoot,” he said.
The cost is $150 for all eight days, and students must attend at least 80% of the classes to receive their certificates at the end.
“Students will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis,” Mr. Winfrey said. “Students will need to be adults age 18 and up or high school seniors with parental consent. They have until Aug. 30 to register.”
The registration form can be found at www.filmmassena.wordpress.com/academy.
“Toward the bottom of the page will be all the instructions they need on how to register,” he said. “It was important to everyone to keep the tuition low for students so that more people could participate. We found through our research similar educational opportunities in this field costing close to $500 or more. So we hope our community will see how affordable we are making this while also not sacrificing quality.”
Ms. Hannibal, the instructor, has extensive experience in film and theater. She has appeared in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” as part of the Sisterhood of Jhe. She has also appeared in “Star Trek: Voyager” as a Taresian woman, along with the film “Star Trek: First Contact.” She has the unique distinction of portraying the first female Vulcan on Earth.
Originally from Los Angeles, Ms. Hannibal made her professional theatre 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 to us that we have an instructor who not only has experience, but is also still involved in the industry,” Mr. Winfrey said. “This will give students a leg up as they won’t be getting outdated information.”
He said the Film Academy represents a big opportunity for Massena and neighboring communities.
“This is 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 new, properly developed filmmakers in our area. Who knows how many productions they will go on to start here or how many jobs they will create with those productions? This could be the start of something big if the opportunity is seized. I can’t thank Noelle or the library enough for seeing the vision and agreeing to be a part of it.”