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By J.C. AlverezSedona Film school alumnus and professional filmmaker Daniel Maitland shoots on location for his Web series, “Good Company.” He joins fellow alumni in advocating for retaining the intensive, nine-month  filmmaking intensive program.Special to Larson Newspapers

On Memorial Day weekend, the Sedona Film School, formerly Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking, will host its 14th, and perhaps final, student film festival.

Yavapai College announced it will “sunset” the film school. The personal and professional lives of many students were radically changed by the ZGIIF/SFS experience. More than half the students continued working in film/media after completing the program. Alumni include student Academy Award nominees, national and international festival award winners and corporate, documentary and narrative filmmakers. These are their stories.

ZGIIF 2007 alumnus, now professional filmmaker, Daniel Maitland was traveling from Los Angeles to his next commercial film project with Multiview Media when he shared what his film school experience meant to him:

“Out of high school, I knew I wanted to study film, but my family couldn’t afford NYU or UCLA. Then my dad found the ZGIIF website and that changed my life. It immersed me in the world of filmmaking and by the time I graduated, I was a professional filmmaker with an ability to do the job and hit the ground running.”

For the full story, see the Friday, April 25, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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  • Chuck Swartwout

    I am a retired filmaker, but I spent many years producing award-winning films. I hope that somehow it will be possible for the Sedona Film School to continue operating.
    I believe that it is a wonderful asset to our community.
    I would be glad to meet with anyone to kick around ideas on how we
    might be able to fund continuation of the school.

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