LONG BEACH - The Film and Electronic Arts Department at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has received a $50,000 grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) that will directly aid students in their efforts to produce their own films.In all, HFPA presented a record $1.54 million in financial grants to 41 film schools and non-profit organizations at its recent annual installation luncheon in Beverly Hills. "The money from the grant goes directly to our students," said Michael Pounds, professor and chair of CSULB's Film and Electronic Arts' (FEA) Department. "It funds the production of student documentaries and narrative films and other student film projects. We have classes here in film appreciation and production and this money allows us to give students a chance to make films they otherwise could not afford to do." Pounds said the grant was given in the form of direct help to students, and at the end of the year, FEA reports back to HFPA to show the grant resulted in the completed films that are provided to HFPA for reciprocal appreciation. "HFPA is a critical piece of the FEA puzzle," said Pounds. "Our students are able to generate a professional product and attain professional experience and credit while still in school, and that leads to internships and jobs." According to Pounds, approximately 45 students are directly affected by the HFPA grant and will be involved in producing more than 40 films that generally run anywhere from five to 30 minutes. "We encourage our students to be concise and cost-effective and yet let the story take them where it needs to go," said Pounds. Currently, four films produced by students in the last year are going into the Bel-Air Film Festival in October, and other projects wind up in other festival environments. Pounds gives much of the credit for securing the HFPA grant to Professor Brian Alan Lane. "Over the years we've built up a professional camaraderie with them and have been able to obtain ever-increasing grants from the organization for what we do here," noted Pounds. "There's a big connection between Brian and us getting the grant. He pitches it. He knew key people who were in charge of their development activities and the next thing we knew he was getting an outline of what they were interested in and developed it, and here we are." "The Hollywood Foreign Press has been repeatedly generous with us in light of the diversity of our students, the diversity of their film projects, and the desperate need these kids have for funding," said Lane. "Our students typically work full-time jobs in order to stay in school, and film production is an added expense. "We thank the HFPA for stepping up to the plate while others have fallen away during these trying economic times," he added. "The future is in our students, and the films they do at school are high-quality and important. HFPA money allows these kids to live their dreams and make the world a better place. Without this funding, our students simply would not be able to make their films."
********** Published: September 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 20