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Swedish native Katja Torneman had long held a strong vision about exactly the kind of film school she wanted: A hands-on-learning film school for documentary filmmakers. For years, Torneman searched Katja Torneman track wolves with Craig Miller, of Defenders of Wildlife, for the documentary film “Lobos,” tracking the progress of Mexican grey wolves recently released back into the wild along the Black River in the White Mountains. Originally from Sweden, Torneman is a graduate from Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking — now known as the Sedona Film School — a program which Yavapai College officials announced will end at the end of this school year.throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S. hoping to find this program of her dreams. In 2010, she finally found the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking — now known as the Sedona Film School — she seized the opportunity to embrace this rare jewel of Sedona, “a nine-month intensive program that was unlike anything I saw out there, around the world.”

Within 10 days, Torneman had relocated to Sedona, and in less than a year, her dream of becoming an award-winning, documentary filmmaker was realized.

“I would not have gone to another school because it’s the structure of the program — nine-month intensive program — that makes this program the unique success that it is,” she said. “Other schools take you through three to four years of many other things that are not relevant to filmmaking and you waste a lot of time and money. At ZGIIF, I knew that when I finished in nine months, I was going to be a filmmaker.”


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  • Chuck Swartwout

    It seems to me that if someone comes all the way from Sweden to attend our film school, that we should somehow figure our a way to keep it open, as it appears to have some advantages over other film schools in this country.
    It certainly should continue to be a valuable asset to our community.
    As I indicated in a previous memo, I am a retired filmmaker and I would be glad to serve on a committee which would brainstorm ways to keep this school open.

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