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Motion Picture Academy to support Emerson

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known for its annual presentation of the Academy Awards, will support Emerson’s film industry–related programs through two grants for the 2012–2013 academic year. The organization and the College have had an ongoing relationship for the past five years, with Emerson receiving more than $49,000 in grants from the Academy during that time.

The Academy will provide a $7,000 grant for Emerson film students participating in the College’s renowned internship study program in Los Angeles. An additional contribution of $5,000 will help fund the Visiting Artists Series, a series of special film screenings in Boston with appearances by filmmakers, established by the College’s professional arts organization ArtsEmerson.

“This kind of support from such a well-known and respected film industry organization is very important,” said Visual and Media Arts Department Chair Jonathan Wacks, whose films include Repo Man and Powwow Highway. “Grants from the Academy go toward programs that allow students to learn about the industry firsthand from established filmmakers and feature film companies; that’s a huge advantage as students can begin to build relationships that will be crucial to their success.”

Since 2008, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has supported 30 students participating in Emerson’s Los Angeles Program. While in Los Angeles, students take classes and intern at major motion picture companies such as Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Focus Features. The grants cover students’ living expenses, making it possible for them to get the hands-on industry experience they need.

The Visiting Artist Series, made possible by the Academy, will help bring three to four filmmakers to Boston to introduce and discuss their film(s) and visit with film classes at Emerson and other partner schools. Last year’s inaugural Visiting Artists Series guests included Nina Menkes, writer/director of Phantom Love (2007) and Dissolution (2010); and actor F. Murray Abraham, who presented an on-campus screening of Amadeus (1984), tied to his appearance on stage in ArtsEmerson’s production of The Merchant of Venice.

In years past, the Academy has also helped bring Academy members to campus to speak with students through its “Discover the Academy” program. Additionally, the ArtsEmerson Film Program screened several films from the Academy’s archives during the 2011–2012 season.

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