Saturday, July 13, 2024

Film Prize Junior gets Entertainment Development Fund award

by BIZ Magazine

SHREVEPORT, La. – A program to train students in filmmaking techniques and behind-the-camera skills is the latest recipient of an award from Louisiana’s Entertainment Development Fund. The Prize Foundation will receive $1 million, in five annual reimbursements of $200,000, for its Film Prize Junior program and related activities for high school and middle school students. Based in the state’s Northwest Region, the Prize Foundation plans to use the entertainment funding to extend the program to schools in all 64 Louisiana parishes within five years.   
 
The Prize Foundation launched Film Prize Junior with a portion of an initial Entertainment Development Fund award it received in 2021. The program’s success in its first two years laid the groundwork for a second round of funding to expand the student-focused program beyond the Shreveport area into other regions of Louisiana.  
 
“With innovative programs like the Louisiana Film Prize, the Prize Foundation has made important contributions to the creative economy of northwest Louisiana for more than a decade,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “This latest award from our Entertainment Development Fund will provide an exciting opportunity to expand its student filmmaking program to more Louisiana schools.”
 
Film Prize Junior gives high school and middle school filmmakers access to mentorship and industry workshops as well as specialized training in the documentary, animation, horror and comedy genres. The program encourages participation by students in underserved communities.
 
The foundation will continue to work with the Louisiana Film Entertainment Association and will forge new partnerships with the New Orleans Video Access Center and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees as it expands its educational offerings for Louisiana students.
 
The organization also plans to work with the Shreveport area filmmaker database, community colleges and universities, and Barksdale Air Force Base to teach production assistant classes – one on hair and makeup or costuming, and the other on grip and electric skills. By teaching these classes, the Film Prize Foundation hopes to bolster the local workforce available for future film productions. 
 
“Film Prize Junior is truly a labor of love for the Prize Foundation, and it’s an honor receiving this LED grant continuing to be able to energize and activate kids from all over the state to be creative entrepreneurs,” said Gregory Kallenberg, executive director of the Prize Foundation. “This grant will allow us to keep up with our explosive growth and continue to educate young women and men in our state about filmmaking and, hopefully, show them a pathway to success.”
 
The Prize Foundation works to support and encourage filmmakers both locally and regionally, providing them with access to valuable resources including mentorship and educational workshops, panels and networking events. The organization seeks to create an active network of filmmaking communities across Louisiana, connecting them in a way that helps to build up the creative economy.
 
“Shreveport has a long and exemplary history of supporting and promoting the arts, and the Prize Foundation and its Prize Fest event have played an enormous role in developing the film industry here,” Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux said. “We are proud the Prize Foundation has secured this funding to carry on the fine tradition. This grant is another opportunity for Shreveport to remain in the forefront of the film industry. We are fortunate to have the Prize Foundation as a creative force here, operating six ongoing initiatives that provide hands-on opportunities and scholarships for student and professional filmmakers.”
 
This is the 11th Entertainment Development Fund award announced by Louisiana Economic Development since the program was launched. In addition to the Prize Foundation’s initial award, previous awards were made to higher education institutions and nonprofit community programs in Natchitoches, Lafayette, Thibodaux, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. 

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