Andie MacDowell to Open 2013 Season of the Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab

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Actress Andie MacDowell will open the fourth season of the Ringling College of Art and Design Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab on Saturday, January 12, 2013. MacDowell is currently starring in production of the Hallmark Networks first-ever primetime scripted series, 'Cedar Cove', based on a series of books by Debbie Macomber. Hollywood luminary Forest Whitaker will be returning to the Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab this season and Billy Bob Thornton will close out the 2013 roster.

Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that actress Andie MacDowell will open the fourth season of the College’s Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab on Saturday, January 12, 2013.

Ms. MacDowell is most noted for her film roles in sex, lies and videotape, Groundhog Day, Green Card, The Object of Beauty, Short Cuts and the romantic hit Four Weddings and a Funeral. She has received an Independent Spirit Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, a Golden Kamera and an Honorary César. In addition, MacDowell has served as an international spokesperson on behalf of L'Oreal Paris for over 25 years.

MacDowell recently made headlines when Hallmark announced she will be starring in ‘Cedar Cove,’ a two-hour movie which will serve as a pilot for the network's first ever primetime scripted series. 'Cedar Cove' is based on a series of books by Debbie Macomber with MacDowell starring as a small-town family court judge whose career directly impacts the obligations of her day-to-day life. The movie and series are scheduled to air Summer 2013 on the Hallmark Channel.

The Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab has brought many Hollywood luminaries to Sarasota to work directly with Ringling Digital Film students over the past three seasons. The 2012 season featured Elijah Wood, Forest Whitaker, Edward Burns, James Woods and Whit Stillman. During the 2012 season Ringling students also worked on feature film productions including Anna Paquin’s film "Free Ride" and "Spring Breakers" directed by Harmony Korine and starring Selena Gomez. Master classes prior to 2012 have featured Werner Herzog, Bill Paxton, Martha Stewart, Andy Garcia, Paul Schiff, Oren Moverman, Ben Foster, Ed Carrol and others.
Combined with the strength of Ringling College’s Digital Film Program, students are not only learning the art and mechanics of visual storytelling but they are also getting guidance and encouragement from leaders in the entertainment industry as part of their core curriculum.

Forest Whitaker will be returning to the program this season and Billy Bob Thornton will close out the 2013 roster.

In almost all cases, visiting film industry lecturers have focused on the importance of ‘story’ in the production process – a core component of the Ringling Digital Film curriculum. As Forest Whitaker stated during his time at Ringling, “Honestly, you can make a movie and you can tell a story. It is possible, it’s more than possible - you can do it, it’s just a question of having the fortitude to push it forward...”

“The continuity of the Digital Filmmaking Studio lab as we begin our fourth season firmly establishes Ringling as a top-tier film school,” said Ringling College president, Dr. Larry Thompson. “Andie MacDowell’s experience in the industry will provide significant insight for our students and her willingness to engage with them is indicative of the growing interest our program is attracting from all aspects of the entertainment industry.”

“We are excited to have Andie kick-off our fourth season,” said Sam Logan and David Shapiro, cofounders of Future of Films and partners with Ringling in producing the Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab. “The Filmmaking Studio Lab has been successful in introducing top-tier filmmakers to the incredibly talented students of Ringling College as well as to the unique Sarasota community. Our next goal is to develop a comprehensive program that places our graduates and current students directly into productions. Ongoing collaborations with Forest Whitaker and Werner Herzog have been successful first steps and we plan on rapidly expanding this initiative over the next year. With this field work and the build-out of one of the very best post production facilities for independent film we are very optimistic about the possibility of Sarasota and Ringling playing an important role in the independent film and media.”

Future of Films leverages unique opportunities in media production and content, focusing on convergences between traditional and new media. Co-founders Sam Logan (Sarasota) and David Shapiro (New York) are bringing to bear their extensive relationships in the film and TV industry to continue to grow the Ringling Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab, a groundbreaking project that combines education with film development.

About Ringling College of Art and Design
Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering the Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 13 disciplines: Advertising Design, Computer Animation, Digital Film-making, Fine Arts, Game Art & Design, Graphic & Interactive Communication, Illustration, Interior Design, Motion Design, Painting, Photography & Digital Imaging, Printmaking, and Sculpture, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Business of Art & Design. Located in Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the picturesque 48-acre campus now includes more than 110 buildings, and enrolls 1,368 students from 42 states and 53 countries. It is recognized as being among the best and most innovative visual arts colleges in the United States as well as a leader in the use of technology in the arts.


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