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Academy PM Launches Sponsorship Drive

The Mount Sentinel Secondary School Academy Performance and Media Academy (Academy PM) has raised $8,500 from local businesses and organizations to pay for filmmaking kits for the unique, cross-curricular program that prepares students for a career in the film, theatre, game and digital media industry. The school’s goal is to raise $54,000 for nine complete film kits this year.

“I want to thank our four Grassroots Level sponsors to date starting with Stellervista Credit Union for their incredible donation of $4000, the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers Union Local 2300 for donating $1500 and Kootenay Co-op and the Nelson and District Credit Union for donating $1,000 each,” said Principal Shellie Maloff.

“Making films is expensive to do, and our Academy PM graduates have demonstrated the ability to do work on par with the very best programs in their field. To hone their filmmaking skills they need industry standard equipment that meets broadcast and streaming platform requirements, so their films are limited only by their own drive and storytelling,” said Danny Leeming who teaches in Academy PM. 

Leeming and fellow teacher Jacy Schindel guide 30 students through the program each year. The teachers have spent months connecting with the local community to raise awareness of the artistic and technical accomplishments of graduates including recognition at national and international film festivals and in the gaming industry. 

“We’ve seen our students excel once they leave our program and go on to film school or a job in the filmmaking industry. Academy PM is known as a place where young filmmakers first discover their passion for this medium. Our sponsorship program will allow us to offer the best program possible to youth in the Kootenays,” said Leeming.

Each film kit includes a 6k cinema camera, lenses, mobile lighting and audio kits, tripods, boom poles, and all the other accessories to turn each student group into a mobile film studio. Throughout the school year, students have access to these kits to participate in digital media projects. Once completed, the short films and video students produce will be showcased at the Academy PM film festival at the Civic Theatre in June, and some films will be screened at festivals and competitions world-wide.

All Academy PM students who successfully complete the program are automatically awarded a scholarship at Vancouver Film School, a partner in the academy. 

Any business, organization or individual interested in sponsoring the Academy PM program can do so at one of three levels – Grassroots ($500 to $4,599); Sapling ($4500); or Old Growth ($9,000 and up). Charitable donation receipts are available.