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Film Program Receives Grant from Hollywood Foreign Press

by University Relations

For the second consecutive year, Azusa Pacific University’s Department of Theater, Film, and Television received a $7,500 grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), supporting student filmmakers with their projects and giving them invaluable filmmaking experience. Other beneficiaries include the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Columbia University, Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, and New York University.

Each year, HFPA hosts the third-most-watched award show on television, the Golden Globes, which has enabled the organization to donate more than $12 million to entertainment-related charities and scholarship programs with the goal of preserving the culture and art of motion pictures. “Azusa Pacific University is grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press for its commitment to assisting the next generation of filmmakers in learning their craft,” said Michael Smith, Ed.D., associate professor in the Department of Theater, Film, and Television. “This prestigious grant increases the credibility of our program by enabling our students to create films that compete on a national and international level with other top-rated university film schools.”

To date, HFPA has helped fund eight senior capstone film projects involving 31 APU students, including the award-winning production The Good River. Named Best Student Film at the 2011 Offshoot Film Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and earning third place at the 2011 Elgin Film Festival in Elgin, Illinois, The Good River screened at the James River Shorts Film Festival in Richmond, Virginia, and the Stepping Stone Film Festival in Bengaluru, India.

“My experience in producing our senior thesis project, The Good River, allowed me to put my passion for filmmaking to the test, and I was able to explore what filmmaking really entailed,” said Lauren Guerard ’11, one of the film’s producers. “Receiving the HFPA grant provided that first step our team needed for the success of our filmmaking journey.”

Originally published in the Spring '12 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).