Hollywood Acting Coach Co-Creates Film Camp For War-Torn Children Of Sri Lanka

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Constance Tillotson Directs Sri Lankan Youth to Inspire Hope And Showcase Troubled Surroundings Through Film.

Children can become stronger, release fear and garner compassionate leadership skills through acting and writing. I am honored to present these avenues to the children of Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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Constance Tillotson, a renowned children's acting coach and director, will collaborate with the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka to share her industry expertise with children in an acting camp set for August 2009. Also in August, Tillotson will create and direct a similar "Drama Camp" in the Maldives to work with youth who are undergoing drug rehabilitation. The Sri Lankan camp, based near the capital of Colombo, embraces the missions of advocating education and coexistence through the universal language of art.

"Artistic expression is a vital element of personal evolution," says Tillotson. "Children can become stronger, release fear and garner compassionate leadership skills through acting and writing. I am honored to present these avenues to the children of Sri Lanka and the Maldives."

The U.S. Embassy sought an American director who specialized in working with children and naturally elected Tillotson.

Thirty children from various regions and ethnic backgrounds will participate in the 10-day Sri Lankan Film Camp. Tillotson is collaborating with Sri Lankan Director Anoma Rajakaruna to design workshops in writing, acting, directing and editing. The children will apply skills learned in these workshops to create their own short films. At the end of the camp, they will be given a special "Red Carpet" screening of their movies.

The 26-year civil conflict in Sri Lanka recently came to an end in May 2009 when the island's governmental forces recovered the last remaining territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (aka Tamil Tigers). Sri Lanka's youth, who comprise 50 percent of the total population, have grown up knowing only war and division within their country. Consequently, to support the reconciliation process, the U.S. Embassy began developing a unique program where the participants could experience the process of expressing their thoughts and feelings through filmmaking.

Many of the Sri Lankan participants have never traveled outside of the regions where they live. While in Colombo, they will be taken to visit to the MTV studios, Moratuwa University and other cultural venues located in the capital. The Sri Lankan youth will also meet with prominent Sri Lankan actors, writers and directors. The Galle Film Festival, a partner in the event, will hold a premiere screening of all the children's films at their event in October.

The Raajje Foundation has come on board as a partner for the Maldives film camp, It is a non-profit agency supporting regional civil society initiatives. In April, the BBC reported there are 30,000 children in the Maldives addicted to hard drugs. Heroin is the most frequently used drug in the Maldives. UNICEF and Maldives TV will be filming the process of the camp.

Tillotson is the chief executive officer of Sterling Studio, a premiere acting studio in Los Angeles. She is also the founder of CTManagement, which manages the careers of select child actors. She directs writes and produces the popular Los Angeles "On-The-Set" Acting Camp, which is one of the models used in developing the Sri Lankan and Maldives' film camps. She is National Vice-Chair of the Screen Actor's Guild Conservatory where she also serves as Director of Young Performers.

Sterling Studio is the premier acting studio for young performers. In a non-judgmental, non-competitive environment, Sterling Studio develops compassionate actors and strong leaders.

For more information, please log onto http://www.sterlngstudioactors.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Jean Paul Zapata

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