BC’s first Film class graduates, wins festival award
BC is steadily expanding the variety of degrees and programs that students can participate in. In the Fall of 2015, BC launched the film program.
This year, 2017, BC congratulates its first graduating film class.
Professor Pezhman Jatala was hired in 2014 to create the program. He was tasked with the whole process of creating the program and launching it.
Jatala said that Scott Miller, the dean, felt that film should be added to the Visual and Performing Arts program since it is a major art form.
They found that since launching the program, the demand is huge and the classes fill up quickly.
BC did offer film classes as electives before the program came into existence. With the new film program, students can now receive credentials in film. There is an AS degree in film production technology and four different technical certificates.
“The students are incredibly passionate. I am very pleased to be teaching the program here because students bring a lot of interest and passion and talent and they work really hard,” Jatala said.
Jatala said that the students were very committed and really wanted to see their projects through.
“Teamwork is the cornerstone of film production,” Jatala said. He said that the students have the opportunity to bond and form a reliable team.
His favorite part of teaching courses at BC is the students. He said the students make his job very enjoyable.
“You could see that everybody’s here because they want to be. Everybody has a very good attitude all the way from administration to the faculty to the students,” he said.
“The best thing about going to film school is that you figure out what you like in filmmaking,” he said.
Jatala thinks the program is great because people really realize what they want to specialize in, in film, which he said is the whole point of the program.
Vincenzo Merola and Travis Coleman are two graduates of the film program.
Merola originally intended to go to FIU, but a faculty member at BC talked him into trying the program at BC, and he fell in love with it.
Merola said that the teachers and his classmates motivated him throughout the program.
He thinks their biggest accomplishment was getting the thesis film done because although they had some major obstacles, they persevered and finished strong in the end.
The thesis film takes place during senior year and it’s the very last production class. The class is separated into two parts where the first part is for pre-production and production, and the second part is for post-production.
The 48 Hour Film Project took place a week after the students wrapped up their thesis film. Some students from the film program participated last year, but they were on the fence about participating this year since it was taking place so close to the thesis film.
Despite the lack of breathing room, they made a film anyway and ended up being nominated for five awards and winning the award for Best Use Of Dialogue.
“My favorite part about the program was probably meeting everybody,” Coleman said.
He said he and his classmates were able to develop good relationships and will be working on future projects together.
Coleman has been able to start his own production company due to knowledge he obtained from the film program.
“I feel like this program has allowed me to get my foot in the door and get to that point so I’m pretty thankful in that regard,” Coleman said.
Since the program at BC is focused on general filmmaking, Merola and Coleman both hope to see specialized courses implemented into the curriculum. They also hope for the program to develop into a Bachelor’s program.
The students’ films are posted online and can be viewed on the YouTube channel, Broward College Films.