The Skyline International Film Festival (SIFF), sponsored by the University of North Georgia (UNG), will give students a behind-the-scenes look at cinema and provide hands-on experience hosting a festival. The two-day event, coming to UNG's Gainesville Campus in April, will bring a variety of films to campus and is open to the public.
"This festival is a massive service-learning project that will include students majoring in film, public relations, organizational leadership, and journalism," said Dr. Jeff Marker, head of the Department of Communication, Media and Journalism at UNG. "The students will also help screen films submitted to the festival as part of the selection process. That will be an invaluable experience for the film and digital media majors in particular, because those students will see the kinds of films they’ll compete against when they submit to other festivals."
In response to the fast-growing film industry in Georgia, UNG developed a four-year program in film and digital media. SIFF, which is supported through UNG's Department of Communications, Media and Journalism and the Department of Visual Arts, will feature the university's new program while recognizing independent cinema.
“This event gives our students a chance to have their artistic works shown in a professional film festival environment while promoting our university’s film, animation, and digital media programs,” said Seth Scofield, programming director for the festival and a film instructor at UNG.
Students from the Department of Visual Arts will design the SIFF awards and students in the department's new concentration in digital arts also will be involved in the festival.
"Bringing to UNG a selection of the best in film, animation, and new media arts by seasoned and new professionals is a boon for students as well as members of the community," said Dr. Pamela Sachant, head of UNG's Department of Visual Arts. "In fall 2015, we introduced a bachelor's degree with a concentration in digital arts, which is designed to prepare students for jobs in 2-D and 3-D animation, 3-D modeling and printing, motion arts, interactive media design, and visual effects. Having their creative work screened at events such as SIFF gives our students an advantage as they move into their professional careers."
UNG's four-year film degree provides students with an understanding of motion pictures as a form of expression, an awareness of how to succeed in the industry, and practical experience gained through use of the latest technology.
“Graduates will be ready to step directly into the workforce or can use the degree as preparation for a graduate program," Marker said.
According to a report published by the Motion Picture Association of America, the movie and television business in Georgia, either directly or indirectly, results in nearly 78,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in wages. Of that number, more than one-third are working directly in the industry in the state.
"The film industry is a powerful economic generator and is creating jobs for Georgians as well as new opportunities to a highly skilled workforce," said Chris Carr, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Festival submissions are open to all independent filmmakers and films and scripts in all genres will be accepted. Prizes will be awarded in several categories, such as direction, cinematography, editing, acting and writing. The festival also features two awards for student filmmakers: best student film and best student animation. Applications for submissions will be accepted until Dec. 15.
The festival will be held in the Ed Cabell Theatre and is open to the public; tickets are $10, or $5 for UNG students.