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San Diego Film Foundation Launches FOCUS: Media Education Program

San Diego Film Foundation Launches FOCUS: Media Education Program Emerging Program to be Directed by Multimedia Expert Blake McCarty, Engaging Students and Schools Year-Round

SAN DIEGO (August 19, 2014) – The San Diego Film Foundation, producers of the San Diego Film Festival, will celebrate the Film Festival’s 10-year commitment to youth and schools by launching

FOCUS, a new education initiative to develop young artists and film-savvy educators. FOCUS offers a new range of programs during the Film Festival and throughout the year, engaging students and schools with dynamic film programs, multimedia teacher training, in-school workshops with artists, and collaborative residencies.

“Because it is a year-round program, FOCUS provides a consistent connection between the Film Foundation and the San Diego community,” said San Diego Film Foundation Chairman and CEO Dale Strack.. “We are working to create a group of film lovers and makers, inspiring them to transform the San Diego visual arts community.”

Approximately 500 students and teachers will be invited to attend the Film Festival for a day-long program, participating in events including film screenings, panels on multimedia skills, and a filmmaker Q&A.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, the Film Festival is also committed to providing professional development workshops for teachers and administrators. These workshops will explore methods of incorporating media and technology into the classroom, while highlighting the needs of modern students and the new Common Core Standards. Additionally, FOCUS will provide multi-workshop residencies for students, teaching the basic tools of filmmaking – from pitching and screenwriting, to post-production.

At the head of FOCUS is Blake McCarty, director and co-developer of the program. McCarty’s experience spans theatre management, international teaching and media production. His past collaborators include the Tribeca Film Festival, Guggenheim Museum, Invisible Children, and La Jolla Playhouse. He is also the creator and producer of Play/Date, an off-Broadway show currently running in New York. McCarty also leads the FOCUS advisory board of educators, administrators and artists that will supervise and evaluate the new programs.

FOCUS is actively seeking partner schools for its inaugural year, as well as sponsors and donors who support digital literacy. For more information, email McCarty at blake@sdfilmfest.com.

About the San Diego Film Festival Founded in 2001, the San Diego Film Festival, currently produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, is the region’s premier showcase for outstanding U.S. and international independent filmmaking. The five-day event is an entertaining, enlightening and educational gathering that embraces the region’s diverse cultural landscape, enhances the arts community and expands the economic vitality of San Diego. Learn more about the San Diego Film Festival at www.sdfilmfest.com, or on Facebook and Twitter. About the San Diego Film Foundation The San Diego Film Foundation is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that produces the annual San Diego Film Festival. Its mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking through producing an annual film festival, developing stimulating film-related events throughout the year, supporting and nurturing student filmmaking programs in local schools, supporting the development of the local filmmaking industry, and enhancing the economic growth of San Diego.