Sedona Film School Receives Mayor’s Arts Award

Sedona Film School Receives Mayor’s Arts Award

The Annual Sedona Mayor’s Arts Awards were held Saturday evening at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. The Sedona Film School was honored with one of the prestigious awards, in the Organization category. Director of the school, Rue, was on hand to receive the award.

“Well, I guess the secret’s out!” Rue joked. Her primary goal when she took the reigns of the film school in August of 2010 was to raise awareness in the community about the wonderful opportunity in their own backyard. “I am so grateful for all the local support we have received. Your efforts put this award in my hands tonight,” she continued.

The Sedona Mayor’s Arts Awards is sponsored by the Arts & Culture Commission, established in 1988, to protect, enhance, serve and advocate excellence in the arts for the people of Sedona. The Sedona Film School at Yavapai College is a first time recipient of this award and felt honored to be in the company ofwonderful local organizations like the Sedona International Film Festival (SIFF).

Patrick Schweiss, Executive Director of SIFF had this to say, “The Sedona Film School — formerly the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking — contributes so much to this community and to Yavapai College. Sedona can be proud to have a world-class film school with personalized one-on-one attention to its students by a staff that is dedicated to giving the next generation of filmmakers’ unparalleled education and training. Where most film schools take 2-3 years to put a camera in a student’s hand, here in Sedona they are shooting (and getting hands-on experience) in the first three weeks. And it is obvious that their work is paying off when you see the films at their annual, year-end shorts film festival.”

Schweiss added, “The Sedona Film School launched a significant recruiting campaign and DOUBLED its enrollment this year! In these tough economic times, that is a significant achievement! These are students who are now living, working, learning in Sedona and contributing to our local economy. These are students — and future filmmakers — who will help put Sedona on the map in the film industry. The community truly banded together this past year to show support for the filmschool and make a unanimous statement that WE LOVE OUR FILM SCHOOL and want to keep it in Sedona.

Local businessman and philanthropist, Bill Lacy, is a supporter of the Sedona Film School. He pointed out that “The school has been a part of our Sedona community for 12 years providing high-quality, affordable education for students of all ages.  Many locals and visitors alike have attended this school in Sedona.”

Lacy also supports the annual High School Film Competition. Each year the Sedona Film School conducts a statewide competition for high school students from grade seven through 12, awarding a full, in-state scholarship to the grand prize winner.

“Rue, the director of the school, is always looking to improve the education for students. She is respected in the industry and able to draw renowned visiting instructors from around the country to teach and mentor students, and even give talks at theSedona International Film Festival, so they are sharing knowledge with whole community,” Lacy added.

The spring semester kicks off with a Guerrilla Filmmaking Workshop on January 12 and 13, 2013. Christopher Miller, producer and filmmaker, is back by popular demand. The workshop covers the nuts and bolts of making low-budget films look like a million bucks. Save money without sacrificing your vision. Attendees will even get to see some hands-on demonstrations in creating film equipment from inexpensive materials available at any hardware store.

“This is such an exciting award for the school; such a wonderful affirmation of all the instructors’ hard work!” Rue continued, “I think the timing on this is perfect. We have some great partnerships in the community, and I am proud of the amazing support we have received in Sedona and the Verde Valley.”

The Sedona Film School is quickly gaining recognition and respect within the industry.  Their hands-on approach leaves graduates ready to transition easily to the working environment of a movie set.  Additionally, they are expanding their relationship with the renowned Sedona International Film Festival (SIFF) and are planning for a special series of technical workshops during the 2013 Festival.

SedonaFilm School advisory board member and owner of Goldenstein Gallery, Linda Goldenstein, added, “The school’s vision dovetails perfectly with the city of Sedona’s endeavor to expand arts and education, as well as our long-standing history as a filmmaking location.”

The enhanced film school curriculum will give students more than 200 hours of on-set training during the nine-month certificate program. Students work closely with film industry professionals in a true apprenticeship environment.

The partnership withNorthern Arizona University (NAU) offers a minor in Independent Filmmaking,through coursework at Sedona Film School. Also, students whom attend SedonaFilm School can transfer their credits seamlessly into a bachelors program at NAU. Students may choose from a narrative or documentary track and in only nine months, they walk away with their own short film as a calling card.

The Sedona Film School is located at the Yavapai College Sedona Center for Arts and Technology, 4215 Arts Village Drive, Sedona, Arizona. Call Rue at (928) 649-4257 for more information. The film school is now accepting applications for fall 2013.  To learn more about the Sedona Film School, please visit