We’re excited about our newest major at Moore, Film & Digital Cinema, a program specifically built for emerging women and nonbinary filmmakers to learn and to share their unique stories in a rigorous and supportive creative environment.
In our new Q&A series, we’re asking local film industry leaders and influencers to share their excitement about the program and tell us more about why Philadelphia is a great place to be for students interested in film and cinema.
Next in our series: Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) and Joan Bressler, GPFO director of programming and the Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers program.
Why is Philadelphia an exciting place for film students and young filmmakers? Why are you excited about Moore starting a Film & Digital Cinema program?
Sharon Pinkenson: Yesterday, during my testimony with Philadelphia City Council, I brought up the fact that the Greater Philadelphia Film Office is working with all the regional teaching institutions, and I specifically mentioned the new Moore program for film. We're excited about the program.
There’s an incredibly supportive film commission in Philadelphia that not only helps filmmakers to get permits, to close streets and get parking, and that kind of coordination, but we also have a program called Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers, which Joan [Bressler] has been running for many years, since its inception. We provide unbelievable services to student filmmakers and to professional filmmakers, on so many levels. It’s not just about being able to produce a film, like anybody else would do, but it's really about our support for the local indigenous film community and particularly the students.
Joan Bressler: For example, we're hosting two events this week. One will be a deep dive into filmmaking, but in a fun way: horror films. We’ll be talking about them from inception on through production, and also promotion and distribution. That's tonight. And then on Thursday, we're partnering with some local organizations on how to produce a film in Philly: the real basics about permits and parking and city services and all the things that the Film Commission can help students and emerging filmmakers with.
Sometimes we feel that people think of us as, you know, the big shots and the studios, because that's what's all over the news. But we spend a great deal of our time on these small projects, these videos, the student projects, the indies.
What advice would you give to young filmmakers?
SP: Take advantage of our resources! It should almost be a course just to go through our website, because there's so much information there. It's constantly being updated. I strongly recommend it. It's almost like a sidebar course because, for example, we don't charge anything for student projects. And yet they get the full help of a studio project.
JB: And also to get on set. On our job hotline, we advertise all sorts of jobs: paid and those that need volunteers, because they're just starting. And I think there's nothing like getting on a film set to see what appeals to you and what doesn't, because there's so many different directions to go. So many jobs.