Last night, I met up with local queer author, filmmaker, and celebrity Michael V. Smith, who has just come from the VIFF UBC Alumni film screening at Ceili's Irish Pub, which was intended to raise support for the UBC Film Production program.
Instead of trying to round up more support, Smith told me that it was announced that the UBC program was being reinstated (it was in suspension, and I had previously written about the situation in Movie Notes).
Here's the press release about it:
UBC FILM PRODUCTION PROGRAM RE-OPENS FOR ADMISSIONS
VANCOUVER - The Faculty of Arts is re-opening admissions to its Film Production Program, which will once again accept applications for September 2008.
Admissions to the program were suspended in April 2007 due to curriculum and funding concerns. The program did not accept new students for the current academic year.
The restructured program will expand its curriculum, add new courses in partnership with other disciplines and institutions, and provide more internship opportunities for students.
"I believe that we have put together a dynamite curriculum," said Dean of Arts Nancy Gallini. "We will offer a new and invigorated program for our students."
The revitalized curriculum will include courses in partnership with the renowned Theatre and Creative Writing programs at UBC, as well as exchange courses with Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design.
The program will be hiring one additional faculty member, and develop partnerships with industry to create more internships for students. The program will propose to University Senate an expansion of the film production program to three years from two. Subject to approval, students will be able to take screenwriting in the first year of the program, as well as a range of new and enhanced courses.
A recently created association of film production grads will continue to work with the Dean and the Faculty of Arts to create additional internships for third-year students, as well as a mentorship program.
"I really don't think we could have done this without the help of our film production alumni," said Dean Gallini.
"It will be a far better program now than it was," added Prof. Jerry Wasserman, acting head of the Dept. of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing. "It's going to be one of the most exciting film programs in Canada."
The 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival currently includes eight films that feature the outstanding talents of UBC alumni who are directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, designers, and editors. The Film Production program at UBC is one of the oldest of its kind in Canada and it is the only master's [program] in Western Canada for film production.