Art Talk: Stephanie Martino of Florida Film Institute

We sat down recently with Stephanie Martino of Florida Film Institute to discuss FFI’s upcoming (and redesigned for online) 2020 Summer Film Camp.

Stephanie is the Director of CINEMA, a program designed to empower aspiring young filmmakers and to prepare them for the film industry in Florida.

Stephanie Martino

Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA): Why did you choose a career in the arts?

Stephanie: As a young child, I was always fascinated with the arts and creative platforms. I have studied and worked in fashion, interior design and painting. All of those endeavors have led me to love and have a passion for filmmaking.

DCA: How long have you worked in Florida? 

Stephanie: I have lived and worked in South Florida since 1989.

DCA: What is the best part about your job? 

Stephanie: My job, teaching and working with budding young filmmakers, is very rewarding. I am proud that the Institute extends the knowledge and process behind filmmaking to eager young students who want to learn. Some of them actually choose film as a future career path as a direct result of participating in our CINEMA program. I also enjoy working in a team environment with my loyal and dedicated staff members.

DCA: Tell us a little bit about your organization. What are you currently working on? 

Stephanie: Well…due to the pandemic, our upcoming summer film camp will now take place virtually! Even though we cannot be together in person, we are moving forward online and celebrating the 10th anniversary of producing our award-winning summer film camp in partnership with The Coral Gables Art Cinema!

FFI’s Cinematographers in Education and Media Arts (CINEMA) program provides an enriching after-school experience for teens interested in pursuing filmmaking. This year, we are providing a virtual hands-on learning environment at our 2020 Summer Film Camp for interested high school students to learn about the art, business and science of filmmaking.

Camp attendees pose during the 2019 FFI Summer Film Camp at Coral Gables Art Cinema

The upcoming six-week, intense filmmaking camp will begin June 15, 2020 until July 24, 2020. The camp will meet via ZOOM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm. This camp is geared to high school students ages 13 to 18 who seek an opportunity to practice formal film production methods. Students will even be able to use their own devices to create projects, mainly their smartphones, which are becoming a dynamic tool used in filmmaking!

DCA: In your opinion, what is the greatest contribution that your organization makes to your community?

Stephanie: We are very proud of CINEMA, a multi-level learning platform, and how it provides local students with a creative and engaging outlet if they wish to focus on their artistic path now in high school, and to prepare for a possible future career in film.

“Next of Kin”, selected as best narrative film poster during the 2019/2020 school year

DCA: What do you think of when you hear “Culture Builds Florida”? Why are the arts and culture important to our state? 

Stephanie: Florida is not just about sunshine and beaches, although those are great things our state offers!

“Culture Builds Florida” is a great motto and resource for those that enjoy the arts, but personally I am grateful to the CBF blog for publishing content with their grantee organizations like Florida Film Institute, and helping to enhance our mission to educate young adults in our diverse communities about filmmaking and the opportunities it can provide.

DCA: Anything you would like to add?

Stephanie: Yes, thanks for asking — despite the ongoing pandemic, FFI has turned a negative into a positive. We responded by broadening our programming and recreating our cutting-edge, virtual CINEMA program. We are so excited to implement this platform for our 2020 summer film camp students and to give them an unforgettable experience!


The Division thanks Stephanie Martino and Florida Film Institute for their participation in this interview.
For more info about the upcoming 2020 Summer Film Camp, scholarship opportunities and to register, visit: https://flfilminstitute.org/programs-summer-film-camp/

Interested in having your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Click HERE to access the proposal form (Note: submission does not guarantee inclusion.)

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