Ringling Expands Film Collaborations

Film

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING WEDNESDAY APR 26, 2017

When Ringling College of Art and Design partnered with Semkhor Productions to create the Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab and bring stars like Werner Herzog and Justin Long to campus, the newfound focus helped propel the college up the film school rankings. Building upon that reputation, this week Ringling and Semkhor have announced a new collaboration with the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg (April 27–30) and a new online course on documentary filmmaking to be taught by a renowned documentarian.

“Our collaboration with Sunscreen is a timely opportunity for filmmakers, cinema lovers and Ringling College film students,” says Ringling College President Dr. Larry Thompson. The collaboration includes screening the premiere of Sugar, a web series developed by Dylan McDermott and co-produced by Ringling College and Semkhor Productions, at the festival. Shot in Sarasota, several Ringling students worked with McDermott on the production, creating the kind of mutually beneficial experience at the heart of the Studio Lab’s purpose. “Our students and facilities brought enormous value to the realization of Dylan’s creative vision,” says Thompson, “while working on Sugar provided exceptional educational and career value to our students.”

In addition to the Sugar screening, the Sunscreen Film Festival will bring a piece of its programming to Sarasota with a showing of David Novacks’ documentary, Finding Babel, in Studio A of the newly opened Ringling Studios Complex on April 30 at 5:30pm. Tickets are available via the Sunscreen Film Festival website. In exchange, Tony Stopperan of the Ringling College Studio Lab will head to St. Pete to participate in panel discussions and workshops for the festival.

As a result of the collaboration, Ringling College has also announced a new online course, Making Media That Matters, with documentarian Steve Michelson. Michelson also has two films premiering at the Sunscreen Film Festival, Nature’s Orchestra and The Burden, and the course will focus on creating cause-based media and finding distribution. “When Ringling was recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top 20 media programs in the world, all of us in the documentary world took notice,” Michelson says. “I'm proud to bring my program to students at Ringling.”

The Sunscreen Film Festival is this weekend, April 27–30, in St. Petersburg.

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