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Pepperdine Hosts Cinemagic and Actor Pierce Brosnan to Share the Craft of Filmmaking With Local Teenagers
More than 100 Los Angeles area high school students recently participated in a one-day program of workshops, film screenings and Q&A sessions at Pepperdine, including a session with acclaimed Irish actor Pierce Brosnan and his wife, Keely Shaye. The event, hosted in partnership with Ireland-based film charity Cinemagic, was organized to encourage the young aspiring filmmakers to follow their dreams and pursue careers in film and television production.
Craig Detweiler, director of Pepperdine’s Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture and associate professor of communication, hosted the event and was joined in welcoming the students by Joan Burney Keatings, Cinemagic's chief executive.
The award-winning, Belfast-based nonprofit visited Los Angeles to present its second Cinemagic Los Angeles Film Festival—as part of their wider Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival—to engage young people, stimulate discussion on social issues, showcase emerging talent, and provide opportunities to learn from leading film and television industry professionals.
Students attending the event ranged in age from 14 to 18 years old and came from three Los Angeles area high schools: Westlake High School, Washington Prep, and the Academy of Music at Hamilton High School. Also attending were a number of Irish students, also aspiring filmmakers, including the lead actors in an award-winning six-minute short film, Gone, which was screened as part of the day’s activities.
Capping off the day was a presentation by James Bond film star and veteran Irish actor and film producer Pierce Brosnan and his wife, American journalist and author Keely Shaye. The couple addressed the students on the art and craft of filmmaking and television production and their place in our culture, and afterwards participated in a question-and-answer session with the students. Long-time Malibu residents, the Brosnans are environmentalists and active in numerous environmental, children's and women's health charities.
“Our students are raving about the day, the workshops, the films, and meeting Pierce Brosnan and his wife,” says Marlene Zuccaro, a teacher at Hamilton High School who accompanied her school’s students to the activities. She also thanked the officials on hand from Cinemagic for the multi-tiered program, adding, “Each event has been absolutely amazing and our students have had extraordinary experiences.”
“We are so grateful to Pepperdine and our other industry partners who have come on board to share their knowledge and skills with young people, through workshops, film screenings and question-and-answer sessions,” comments Cinemagic chief executive and Detweiler’s cohost Burney Keatings. “This interaction provides vital encouragement for young people, inspiring them to pursue their ambitions.
“The USA Festival gives young people the opportunity to work with others from different cultural backgrounds and to create new channels of communication through the medium of film,” she adds. “The workshops help develop not only the young people’s film-making skills but also their inter-personal skills, and the overall process of film viewing contributes to a deeper understanding of cultural difference.”
For this second Cinemagic Los Angeles Film Festival, Cinemagic worked in partnership with a number of film and television organizations in Los Angeles, including Pepperdine University, The Jim Henson Company, Walt Disney Animation Studios, HBO, Inner-City Arts and Variety Magazine to entertain and educate hundreds of young people through film.
“Pepperdine is thrilled to have forged a partnership with Cinemagic and to be able to offer with them an immersive education experience to LA’s most promising young filmmakers and performers,” Detweiler concludes. “It is so great to see accomplished artists like Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye invest in the next generation.”
For more information, visit the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture website.