Academy of Art University Grad Wins at ION International Film Festival

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Motion Pictures & Television Alum Temi Ojo Continues to Gain Worldwide Acclaim for His Short Film Renouncing Angelica

You're not in art school just to get an education, but also to reveal more of your own character

Film festival audiences around the world have been singing the praises of Temi Ojo's recent short film Renouncing Angelica. Grabbing Best Short Film honors in the ION International Film Festival and the Festival Director's Award at the Gold Lion Film Festival, the film continues to gain exposure and receive acclaim for its finely crafted story and underlying themes.

The success has reaffirmed Temi's choice to follow his dream of filmmaking. He said that the attention felt good, because the film was not easy to make. Temi wrote the script, and directed and produced the film. "It's a very personal story, and I wanted to tell it in a personal way," he said.

Making the decision to leave behind his successful career as a Silicon Valley engineer, Temi attended Academy of Art University, one of the nation's top art schools, to pursue a career as a filmmaker and entrepreneur. With the success of his latest short film and a production company to his credit, it looks like his choice is paying off.

Although he enjoyed his job as an engineer, Temi said that seeing his newborn nephew gave him a new perspective on life and inspired him to start researching film schools and pursue his passion for filmmaking. He said that in a corporate environment, there are too many restrictions. "I felt like I had so much more creativity than could be expressed in that company," he said of his engineering job. Watching his sister go through the process of childbirth made him realize that he had much more to share with his family and future generations to come.

In addition to writing, directing and producing his own films, Temi runs Mariveles Ojo, a film production company, with his partner Vanessa Mariveles. They're currently producing a new short film, as well as working with local businesses on innovative film and marketing projects.

Temi graduated from Academy of Art University with an MFA in Directing from the School of Motion Pictures & Television and an MBA in Marketing & Entrepreneurship from Santa Clara University. He said that attending film school at the Academy, among many choices of art schools, has not only helped him to reach his goals up to this point, but that it's still helping him to succeed through the lessons and connections he gained while at the Academy.

When asked which Academy of Art University instructor was most influential for him, Temi said that all of his art school instructors were great, but two really impacted him - Diane Baker and Jack Isgro. He said that Jack provided him with insight on how to approach the filmmaking industry, while Diane helped him by providing honest feedback and networking advice. "Her guidance was very important in shaping me as an artist and making connections in the industry."

He said that his time at the Academy in particular, among other top art schools, prepared him for his future in filmmaking, and also helped him learn more about himself. "You're not in art school just to get an education, but also to reveal more of your own character," he said.

Temi urged students to look inward to make the most of their time in art school. "One of the most important things in school, as well as life, is to understand yourself - what inspires you." He said that if you channel what is important to you into your art, people will respond.

He recommended that students and graduates utilize the wealth of resources available to them at art schools such as Academy of Art University. He said that the social and academic resources at the Academy were a great way to connect, but that students should also maintain a relationship with this top art school once they graduate. "There is a community of vibrant artists who are eager to work," he said.

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