by Richard Markosian
Mount Pleasant, Utah might be out in the middle of nowhere, near Utah’s largest turkey farm in Moroni, but it’s not the last place you would expect to see film students learning from professionals from New York.
The energy of Sundance coupled with the long history of films made using the spectacular variety of backdrops from Utah small towns, lured New Yorkers to determine Utah’s budding film community would be fertile ground for connecting the aspiring filmmakers with seasoned professionals. The International Film Institute of New York, a well respected intensive program for aspiring filmmakers and screen writers, was considering where to expand and decided that Utah would be a perfect fit.
Misael Sanchez, is the founder of the school and a graduate from the prestigious New York University film program. He was teaching at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program when he decided he wanted to escape the confines of predefined curriculum, film philosophy, analysis, theory etc. and start his own program focusing on the nuts and bolts of film making in an intensive course of study. They began the IFI 12 years ago in New York and have grown their intensive programs in L.A, New Mexico and New York.
Misael and Donella Crosgnach together have consulted and created summer courses for several film programs including Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Their first move into Utah was working in partnership with Wasatch Academy to launch their film department by helping the school purchase equipment and write the curriculum for their new program. “We really fell in love with Utah and Mount Pleasant and realized we want to branch out here,” says Crosgnach. The vision of the IFI is to use the best equipment and top notch faculty to offer a one-of-a-kind intensive workshop to aspiring film makers in Utah.
Many of the International Film Institute of New York’s faculty are working professionals. Directing teacher, George Kimmel IV, graduated with a Master’s Degree from Columbia University and is in the process of writing a pilot for a sitcom. “Our Goal is to provide a well rounded film education that focuses on storytelling.” says Misael.
Besides the workshops in Mount Pleasant, IFI will also be conducting intensive short term workshops in Sugar Space (616 East 2150 South).
for more information, visit their website at http://www.nyfilmschool.com/IFI2011/Welcome.html