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Ga. Film Academy talks training students for film industry

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 7:38 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Over the past few years, Georgia’s film industry has grown rapidly.

On Thursday, WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with Jeffrey Stepakoff, the Executive Director of The Georgia Film Academy.

“Jeffrey, thanks for joining us. The question is right now people see the growth of the film industry in Georgia. What are you seeing?” Wallace asked.

“I am seeing Georgians working in film in our great state, Jim. It is an exciting time to be working in film, television, and digital media here in Georgia. I am seeing growth. Frankly, I am seeing a future industry here in our state,” said Stepakoff.

“And of course, the Georgia Film Academy, it’s part of the University System of Georgia, and really in the past people might not have understood it. But right now those jobs are available. How are your students reacting?”

“As you can imagine, Georgians are very excited regarding the opportunity that our state is providing them through the film academy and other resources to get onto our sound stages and our sets. Frankly the Georgia Film Academy, I continue to believe, should be a point of pride for all Georgians. It’s a state resource that pulls together all of the existing resources in our entire university system, in our entire technical college system. To make sure we have an affordable and effective way to put Georgia’s students and all Georgians to work on our sound stages and sets,” Stepakoff replied.

“Those are great opportunities. How does someone get involved, and get enrolled in the Georgia Film Academy as a student?” asked Wallace.

“Well, Jim there are three basic ways. Someone can enroll in the Georgia Film Academy courses, one, enroll through a university. Generally, that would be a public university here in Georgia. Two, enroll in a technical college, one of Georgia’s 22 TSG institutions. Three, you can enroll, and any Georgian can enroll through what we call a Con ED or Continuing Education portal. One can go to Clayton State and enroll. One can go to Georgia Piedmont Tech and enroll and all this can be done online. And let me mention as well, the Georgia Film Academy today is working with Albany State University too very soon to onboard students from that institution into the Georgia Film Academy collaborative. I want to mention as well, we started the Georgia Film Academy in August of 2015. We enrolled in the Spring of 2016, 194 students from three institutions, two universities, and a technical College,” Stepakoff said. “Today, there have been over 12,000 registrations. 12,000 Georgians registering at our film academy, through what is now a consortium of 29 partner institutions, and growing by leaps and bounds, partly due to this workforce that we are building. Georgians who are getting to work and keeping all this economic activity here in our great state.”

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