Chalmette, LA—Through the support of a St. Bernard Parish Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and St. Bernard Parish Office of Film and Television, a professional film industry standard workforce development training will be offered at Nunez Community College. This program is coordinated by Jamie Landry-Zimmer, a film industry workforce development professional, and will be offered free of charge to those who qualify and are selected to participate.
The program will provide training that meets industry standards in acting, independent film-making and production. Film industry standard seminars will also be offered free of charge to the general public. Together, these training programs will situate St. Bernard Parish as a center for the development of an indigenous Louisiana film industry.
The first portion of the program is professional film and television actor training. Modeled on conservatory training, the actors’ program is for working actors in Louisiana; first offered last spring to St. Bernard residents only. The program is now open to all Louisiana residents. Participants will be selected by audition, resume, and intent to use training to work as an actor.
Acting classes will be taught by well-known film and television actor and veteran acting coach Jim Gleason. Actors will also be guided in professional development, resume building, and social media/website training. Each participant will also receive a film industry standard head shot from make-up artist Jami Ross, and photographer Jackson Beals of Magazine Street Headshots.
Applicants (who must be 17-years-old or older) should send a resume, head shot or picture, and short paragraph on why they will benefit from the program via email to Jamie Landry-Zimmer at firstname.lastname@example.org . Deadline to apply is Oct. 7. Only qualified applicants will be invited to audition Friday, Oct. 14. Classes will be held Saturdays, Oct. 22 and 29, and Nov. 5, 12, and 19 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Headshots will be taken Dec. 2, 3, and 4. Fifteen participants will be selected for this round of training. Testimonials from recent participants are available on the Louisiana Professional Film Industry Workforce Development Program’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LPFIWD
"We are committed to providing industry standard workforce development opportunities to not only our residents of St. Bernard, but to all residents within our service area who are seeking employment in this industry," said Nunez Community College Chancellor, Dr. Thomas Warner.
St. Bernard Parish President, Guy McInnis, also expressed his support for this type of program that pairs educational institutions and local industries.
"St. Bernard Parish Government is committed to working with higher education and other industries like film and entertainment in providing jobs to local residents," said McInnis.
This film industry standard workforce development has broad-based support from state and local officials who have worked closely with the film industry in Louisiana and have grown this sector of the economy through tax incentive programs.
State Senator J.P. Morrell commented, "Tax incentives are a very good thing for our state, and we have to do everything to foster it through a strongly developed workforce." Morrell continued, "Nunez Community College's efforts are directly supporting job development in Louisiana and is making our investment better."
Morell’s sentiment is echoed by State Representative Garofalo, Director of Film and Television for St. Bernard Parish-Ryan Fink, Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association (LFEA) President-Robert Vosbein, and State Representative Walt Leger, III.
Representative Garofalo said, "Nunez Community College is creating workforce training that is valuable not only for St. Bernard's economy, but for our state's economy."
This training is vital to both local film productions and actors. According to Fink, "A 10% state tax incentive is given for every local hire, which is beneficial to everyone when a production employs Louisiana residents." In addition, St. Bernard just adopted a Parish Ordinance to add another 3.5% to approved productions that hire local residents, “With the support of the Council and Parish President, Guy McGinnis, the new incentive program will help lock in more productions to film in St. Bernard.”
Robert Vosbein stated, “Unique programs like this one at Nunez Community College prepare future talent and industry workers for quality film jobs. They complement the second to none infrastructure and opportunities that our state offers.”
“This kind of workforce training tool will bring us a step closer to what we hope the program will continue to be—a job creator and economic driver for small business growth, “said State Representative Walter Leger, III.
Supporters of this initiative include: The St. Bernard Parish Office of Film and Television, St. Bernard Parish Government, St. Bernard Parish Economic Development Foundation, St. Bernard Parish ADA Board, The Meraux Foundation, Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association (LFEA), New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC), New Orleans Film Society (NOFS), Louisiana Economic Development Department of Film and Television, THE RANCH Studio, Incubator, LLC, Magazine Street Headshots, The COOL Cooperative, State Senator J.P. Morrell, State Rep. Ray Garofalo, State Rep. Paul Hollis