Motor City residents with big-screen dreams experienced a little bit of Hollywood in Livonia when Madonna University hosted Project Accessible Hollywood’s second annual PAH-fest Digital Media Festival.
The festival was created by Christopher Coppola, nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and brother of actor Nicholas Cage, and brought a unique mix of free events to Madonna University’s campus from July 14 through July 20.
The public was invited to attend informative seminars and film nights with Hollywood notables, including famed screenwriter and novelist Elmore Leonard. Attendees also participated in a cell phone video competition and a digital video portrait contest.
Six pre-selected teams wrote, produced, and filmed a 6 minute story with the help of film professionals during the Mobi-Flicks competition. PAH-fest Motown provided participants with equipment, coaches, and training during the unique competition.
The virtual world of Second Life took center stage during a special lunchtime concert featuring Ridha Ibrahim from Italy. The festival also had contests and other interactive ways for the Second Life community to be part of PAH-fest Motown.
PAH-fest is only part of the digital video and interactive media experience available to Madonna University students.
The University’s award-winning Broadcast and Cinema Arts program offers two-year and four-year degree paths, providing students with skills that can lead to careers in television, film, radio, and digital media.
Students have the opportunity to learn and work on the public television program “Madonna Magazine,” which has been broadcast from Livonia since 1985, and can also gain real-world broadcasting experience by being part of the student-run Internet radio station.
Madonna University provides its Broadcast and Cinema Arts students with professional-quality equipment, enabling them to gain valuable experience producing, filming, and editing video. The University also has Internet2 access and a dedicated high-speed connection from Merit Network, which is used for streaming media, online learning, and collaboration tools.
In early 2009, a new high-definition digital production facility will be completed. The location will feature a 30×40 TV studio/sound stage with four cameras, jibs, lighting grid, control room, radio studio, video editing lab, editing suites, and a classroom with 16 workstations.
The Broadcast and Cinema Arts program and its students have received several awards for excellence. In 2007, Madonna University student Dave Brown received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences(NATAS) Michigan Chapter, Student Emmy Award at the 30th Emmy Awards Gala. In 2006, the student-produced video “The Life and Times of Pablo Davis” won the NATAS Student Emmy Award. Other awards have included the MTV-Music Television Network Award for innovative ways to teach youth in the community.
Michigan is becoming a hotbed for filmmaking as movie studios begin to take advantage of new tax incentives passed in 2008. With PAH-fest and its Broadcast and Cinema Arts program, Madonna University is preparing students for Hollywood dreams and rewarding careers.
Founded by the Felician Sisters of Livonia in 1937, Madonna University is a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition committed to teaching, scholarship, and service. It offers programs in more than 75 undergraduate and 27 graduate areas, leading to certificates, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree, as well as post-baccalaureate certificates. They have been a member of Merit Network since November 1994.