Winter Warmer Newsletter 2007

Well it's never that cold in Texas, but winter warmer conjures such cozy images. Over at our Tillery Street offices, we've been collecting pecans off the sidewalk with the rest of the neighborhood, and as you'll see we've been active and productive. While our headlines are full of acronyms we, ask you to continue on, brave reader, for the full stories will be told.

Join the Journey...

What is MFS Executive Director Lisa McWilliams doing on a country road in Texas? Click & find out!

On the ROAD for 2008...

During 2008, the Mobile Film School will continue to take its digital film media programming on the road, targeting towns in Caldwell Hays and Travis Countries. Plans are underway, expect more news on next years programming shortly.

MFS @ AFF...

MFS/Manor alumni Kayla Gillespie (right in stripes) at 2007 Austin Film Festival.
The Mobile Film School's staff and alumni enjoyed collaborating with the Austin Film Festival staff and attending the 2007 events. Beyond seeing great films and meeting film industry Illuminati, MFS sponsored two Student Pitch Sessions. Three students from Austin High and Manor Tech pitched their intended films to industry writers and producers, receiving valuable comments on their story ideas and the art of their pitch. It was a learning experience for the entire audience.

*Congratulations to winner Nina J. Bildstein, who then went up against the big girls and boys at the adult AFF Final Pitch Competition.

Also, the MFS/Manor student film, In a Place Like This (produced in February 2007) screened twice as part of the Young Filmmakers Program. Kayla Gillespie, part of the Manor fimmaking crew fielded questions from the audience during a filmmaker Q&A session after the screening.

MFS, NAMAC, & M.A.F.I.A....

Later in October, the Mobile Film School staff attended the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture’s (NAMAC) eighteenth conference, sponsored by The Austin School of Film. MFS is a member of NAMAC, a nonprofit association whose membership comprises a diverse mix of organizations and individuals dedicated to a common goal: the support and advocacy of independent film, video, audio and digital arts. For three days participants roamed Austin and engaged in thoughtful panels surrounding the three conference tracks of Create, Engage, and Act.

Lisa McWilliams participated in the “Place-Based from Urban to Rural –Being Strategic and Imaginative about What Can Happen Where” panel, where she was able to highlight the current state rural media education.

Four MFS/Elgin students also participated in the NAMAC Youth Make a Film in a Conference Film Festival (M.A.F.I.A), where they spent 24 hours at the Austin Studios, scripting, shooting and editing a short film according to a defined set of guidelines. Local media arts faculty and mentors oversaw the process. The student films were screened for conference attendees the following day. Congratulations to the MFS/Elgin filmmakers and winners Adam Williams Tomas Segura for the following:

Audience Choice Award: Adam Williams and his team for the short comedy Sebastian & His Picture
Best Use of Prop Award (a fly swatter): Tomas Segura and his team for the short drama Le' Fly Swatter

Following the film screening, students talked one-on-one with notorious Austin online film critic Harry Knowles. Harry is the creator of Ain't It Cool News, an internationally known website featuring movie news, reviews and fast breaking insider tidbits. In 2000, he was ranked #95 in the Forbes Power List.

MFS & I Live Here...

The Mobile Film School has partnered with the "I Live Here, I Give Here" Campaign, who's mission is to boost local giving by educating fellow Austinites about the needs in Central Texas and the organizations working to meet those here and find out more!

SIFE & Success...

Texas State SIFE students Brianna Balser & Scott Langford were recently awarded in November 2007 the "Most Successful New Project" award for their work with the Mobile Film School.

Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) is a globe, non-profit organization that is literally changing the world through highly dedicated student teams on more than 1600 university campuses in 40 countries. SIFE offers these students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communcation skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise, thereby improving the standard of living for millions in the process.

Intern @ MFS

To meet our current and future goals, we need you. For college students and mid-lifers alike, interning at MFS is an excellent way to develop a working knowledge of, and gain experience in the non-profit world and digital media education programming. Besides, we have a great time in general (breakfast tacos, the ongoing search for a cheap lunch & FUNDING, among other things).

Click here to see the details.

MFS & Food, Glorious Food

Beyond engaging our young students in the rigors of digital media production, MFS is committed to integrating basic good nutrition and food preparation into our workshops. Using local, fresh produce, bringing a chef on to plan and prepare meals, and eventually offering a culinary program open to other members o the community is a significant piece of the overall Mobile Film School pie.

Comin' Up on Sundance...

Lisa will be at the Sundance Film Festival from January 22-27, 2008. She would love to catch up with folks who will also be attending, so please email her to set a time to meet or... program her cell phone or give her a call at 215.205.8566. She might even take an afternoon or two off to go skiing, if anyone is interested.