Film maker to host youth seminar
Award winningdocumentary filmmaker, Melissa Gomez will be returning home next month to host a seminar on introducing documentary filmmaking for youths.
Gomez, who is based in New York, said she was exposed to documentary filmmaking after completing undergraduate studies, said she is excited to assist the target group, ages 14 through 18 with an interest in filmmaking or visual storytelling; plot their path from an early age.
“I feel like children in high school should be exposed to as many different forms of creative expression as possible, so that they can make informed decisions about what fits them the best. I like the idea of exposing high school students to this form of storytelling because they are at that age when they are beginning to think about what they want to do with their lives,” Gomez said.
The filmmaker, who has been working in New York for several years, tried her hand at documentary back in 2004 without any experience. However, more than four years later she reworked to perfect the film Silent Music; a portrait of her deaf family that won Best Documentary awards at both the 2014 Maine Deaf Film Festival and the 2012 CaribbeanTales Film Festival, as well as the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Toronto Deaf Film & Arts Festival.
“It is important to be exposed early so you can avoid common mistakes. Had I had this kind of exposure at that age, I have a feeling it would have taken me a lot less time, and a lot fewer mistakes to create a successful film” she added.
The seminar will introduce students to three forms of documentary filmmaking – personal, observational and archive-based documentary. Through the analysis of story structure, showing of film clips, guided discussions, this seminar will expose young storytellers to a powerful visual medium that inspires.
Gomez, who won Best Film/Video Documentary Production at the 2010 Berlin International Black Cinema Festival, and was also nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Pan African Film Festival in Culver City, California with Share and Share Alike, said much interest has been generated for the seminar.
“I already have adult interest, and yes I am open to coming back to do other sessions,” she added.
Registration for the three-hour introduction to documentary filmmaking seminar can be done at Paperclips, Royal Palm Place for $50 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is August 15.
Three scholarships are also available for students in financial need; they must write a 350-word essay answering -Why are you interested in learning about documentary film and why you are the best candidate for the scholarship along with a completed registration form to the email address.
The seminar will be held on August 26 from 2 to 5 pm.
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