HM the King announces: A Jordanian School for Cinema
Start building your cinematic portfolios if you want to apply in 2008.
NEW YORK, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- King Abdullah II of Jordan presided over a ceremony in New York City on September 20th marking the creation of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA) in Jordan's Red Sea resort town of Aqaba. The institute is a joint effort of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan and the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. The institute will enroll men and women from the Middle East region in a specialized learning environment dedicated to teaching all disciplines of the cinematic arts.
The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts is in line with His Majesty's efforts to harness the skills of Jordanian youth by exposing them to the latest technologies in filmmaking and production. The institute would also contribute to His Majesty's vision of establishing a hub for intellectual and creative capital in Jordan, where youth in the region can be equipped with the necessary tools for success.
His Majesty drew on the expertise of filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who recommended the partnership with USC, to make this project a reality.
"When His Majesty the King approached me on the subject of a Jordan-based, world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel, I immediately saw the importance and significance of such a venture for the people and the future of the region. I knew as a trustee of USC and a member of the school's Board of Councilors that the university had the exact expertise he needed for this incredible initiative," Spielberg said.
"The Middle East is a melting pot of cultural richness and diversity with story-telling traditions as old as time, yet contemporary cinematic stories from the region are in short supply," said Mr. Mouasher. "In establishing this institute we will draw from a diverse and vast pool of cultures and experiences, to offer a more complete idea and multi-faceted perspective to the viewer, and the world audience."
The University of Southern California is home to the oldest cinema program in the United States, which was founded in 1929 as a collaboration between USC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The School of Cinema-Television has over 10,000 living alumni who are among the entertainment industry's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives.
USC faculty and staff teams traveled to Jordan to conduct pilot programs in 2005 and 2006. Those experiences will now be formally expanded into the RSICA, a fully accredited and free-standing graduate school that will offer a three-year Masters of Fine Arts Degree through advanced education in cinema, television, and a wide range of dynamic screen-based media.
Construction of the RSICA campus is set to begin in early 2007 in Aqaba, a special economic zone in Jordan on the Red Sea, bordering Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Its facilities will include digital screening rooms, post-production, animation and interactive media laboratories; sound stages with green-screen and motion capture capacities; high-end professional video production packages and an extensive digital and print library.
Faculty will be drawn from industry, arts and academic institutions around the globe. Students will be admitted from Jordan, as well as the entire region, with first admissions in September 2008, and the first graduating class in June 2011. Admission will be based on a competitive portfolio, clear evidence of talent and outstanding personal expression, as well as strong potential for creative collaboration.