Film producer Andrea Iervolino donates US$100k to UWI for film production course – Carib Vibe Radio

Film producer Andrea Iervolino donates US$100k to UWI for film production course

Movie Producer Andrea Iervolino has committed to funding a film production course at the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus (UWIFIC) in Antigua and Barbuda, providing a grant of US$100, 000 towards the project.

Autria Mashian, of R&CPMK, an entertainment and culture agency in Los Angeles, CA, told Caribbean Life that Iervolino is in talks with UWIFIC to introduce a new program for students interested in pursuing a career in the film industry.

“The program could potentially offer exciting opportunities for budding filmmakers to develop their skills and gain valuable experience in this dynamic field,” she said. “This collaboration between Iervolino and the university holds great promise for the future of aspiring filmmakers in the Caribbean region and beyond.”

During a recent meeting, Mashian said Iervolino, who has obtained Antigua and Barbuda citizenship through investment, engaged in discussions with Justin Robinson, the chancellor of UWI Five Island.

“The purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibility of launching a new program,” Mashian said. “The discussions were fruitful, and the new project has great potential.”

She said Iervolino expressed his eagerness to get started and pledged to hold talks personally with students interested in the field.

Additionally, Mashian said he offered to provide select students with an opportunity to travel to Italy for a firsthand experience in filmmaking.

“I believe we must teach the students to produce a movie from scratch,” Iervolino said. “I would like them to be part of a crew and put them on set, so they have the experience. We can donate cameras to them; this is easy.

“The possibilities are endless,” he added. “We can get them to do documentaries in the first instance. This is how you teach people.”

Mashian said The University of the West Indies’ Mona Campus in Jamaica currently houses a film section, “but its endeavors have not succeeded.”

“The hope is that the newly established UWI Five Islands campus can become the leading university in the region in terms of film studies,” she said. “During the discussions, the possibility of internships was mentioned, which was met with excitement by the attendees, including Iervolino.”

Mashian said there were also talks about incorporating digital animation into the program in the future.

“In the realm of digital animation, establishing a reliable infrastructure is crucial,” she said.

According to Iervolino, this could entail the creation of a multi-million-dollar company, which would require a substantial amount of resources and investment.

“However, setting up a digital animation operation would be much simpler if the government provided the necessary infrastructure, such as equipment and other amenities,” Mashian said.

Meanwhile, she said Prof. Robinson said the UWI does not strongly emphasize film making and producing.

“Therefore, the proposed venture would be a suitable addition to the university’s offerings,” Mashian said.

“Additionally, since the UWI campus is predominantly female, there is a constant search for activities that might appeal to male students,” she added, stating that Minister of Education Daryll Matthew is “excited about the new proposed venture, agreeing that it will cater to those interested in the field.”

“There is no development in this country, certainly in the last 40 years that will have a sort of impact on the national development of Antigua and Barbuda, like this Five Islands Campus of UWI,” Matthew said. “And so, as we continue to build out the physical infrastructure of the campus, we have to build out attractive programs.

“The film sector, which is one of the largest globally, has an appeal and this partnership can only reap benefits for the UWIFIC and Antigua and Barbuda,” he added.

Mashian said Iervolino was introduced to Antigua and Barbuda by the country’s Ambassador to Spain in the Principality of Monaco and the Principality of Liechtenstein, Dr. Dario Item.

She said Iervolino has not only introduced himself but also made a generous contribution of US$100,000.00 to the UWIFIC, “reflecting his commitment to positively impacting the local community.

“Dr. Item motivated the contribution and expressed that Iervolino was eager to join hands for this noble cause,” Mashian said. “During their conversation, Iervolino and Matthew explored the idea of enacting legislation that would offer tax incentives to entice large-scale film producers to operate in Antigua.”

She said Johann Hesse, the Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the African Union, was present to witness the launch of the new initiative.

Hesse expressed his enthusiasm for the project, “and contributed valuable advice and insights towards the success of this exciting new endeavor,” Mashian said.

She said Iervolino will soon be traveling to Antigua and Barbuda, along with Jean Claude Van Damme, for the filming of “Kill Em All.”

Mashian said this upcoming project is expected to “showcase their talent and skills in the movie industry, while exploring the beautiful island of Antigua and Barbuda.”

Furthermore, she said Iervolino has expressed plans to shoot another movie in Antigua and Barbuda – “this time to include local talent in the film.”

“This decision is a testament to his desire to promote and support the local artistic community, while creating opportunities for aspiring actors and actresses to showcase their talent on a bigger platform,” Mashian said.

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