Cinema has always been an important part of the School of Communications’ curriculum, but this year it got a major face-lift with the addition of new faculty, programs and student activities.
“It’s really grown considerably,” said Kenn Gaither, the associate dean of the School of Communications. “In the last couple of years we’ve added new faculty, we’re growing our student organizations and programs. Cinelon and Elon Docs, for example, are both getting larger.”
Included in these improvements is Elon’s hiring of screenwriter and director Paul Castro as a visiting faculty member. Castro is most well known for his screenplay for the movie “August Rush,” a major motion picture starring Keri Russell and Robin Williams.
“What I believe I can bring to the cinema program is experience and passion,” Castro said. “I certainly have the experience to teach screenwriting and filmmaking, but more importantly is the passion, the passion for my students’ success.”
The changes in the cinema program have not gone unnoticed in the professional world. Elon was recently one of 13 colleges and universities selected to participate in the Sprite Refreshing Filmmakers Challenge. The contest, which gives students the chance to work on a professional commercial, is only open to the selected schools and includes some of the most prestigious film programs in the country.
More than anything, Elon cinema students have the opportunity, now more than ever, to hone their skills and to one day become important members of the very competitive entertainment industry.
“I just love what I do,” said cinema student Josh Chagani. “I love being behind the camera or in front of Final Cut, and I’m really glad that the support system here is as amazing as it is.”