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A little over a year ago, in February of 2017, the Chavón School of Design opened a new Cinematography program at the Altos de Chavón campus. The two year program features professors and guest lecturers from impressive film industry backgrounds. The program teaches from both theoretical and practical fields emphasizing the importance of hands on learning. Students visit museums and attend workshops broadening their knowledge on the industry. The Chavón film program encourages students to discover their own voice and ability to story tell through research and experimentation, developing their craft with each project.
The director of the film program, Tanya Valette, joined the Chavón faculty after serving as the director of the International School of Cinema and Television in Cuba. Not only was she a member of the first generation of graduates, but she was the first graduate and woman to hold the position as director. Before Chavón, Tanya dedicated her time to writing and documentary script analysis teaching workshops at various public and private institutions. Tanya says, “The Dominican Republic film industry as an art is on an upward development process and this has much to do with how the new creative and critical generation is being trained.” She has dedicated time to improving the film classrooms and upgrading the tools available to students. According to Tanya, “the main requirement for studying film in Chavón is to love the cinema in a passionate way.”
Another important person that makes the film program the success that it is today is Pedro Carrasco. Pedro is the Technical Coordinator of the film program. Pedro attended Chavón Design School studying fine arts before attending the International School of Cinema and Television in Cuba. He chose to return to Chavón because he wanted to help be a part of the development of this program, offering students the chance to learn about the artform, “it is very rewarding to be able to offer this space to new generations of filmmakers” he says. Though not a professor, Pedro loves following the students progress, offering constructive criticism helping with their learning process. Being on the coordination side, Pedro sees the overarching projects of the entire program. He says, “what I like most is being able to see the students get excited about a movie, to feel that they discover something new and to witness their progress and searches. It is magical to see the growth of a person doing what they love.”
The Chavón film program has already received international recognition being featured on Variety’s “Stellar Film Schools in 2017” list. The international entertainment magazine listed the Chavón School after the film program had only been in session for a few months, which shows the dedication and passion from both the students and professors. One thing is for sure, these graduates are going places and we can’t wait to watch!
Pictures taken by the students Jaime Guerra and Manuel Casati
Special thanks to Tanya Valette and Pedro Carrasco from the Chavón Film Faculty
* This article was previously published in our sister magazine Casa de Campo Living Summer 2018 edition.
CHAVÓN | SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Founded in 1983, The Altos de Chavón School of Design offers careers in applied arts in the areas of Fine Arts, Visual Communication and Fashion. This type of intensive two-year program provides the graduates with an associate degree at a technical level, which provides them with a solid education that enables participants to compete as professionals in the field of design and arts both locally and internationally.
Graduates of the School of Design are eligible to transfer directly to Parsons School of Design in New York. More than 2,000 Dominicans and students from around the world have graduated from the School of Design, demonstrating that a solid background in design, parallel to an emphasis on the development of the industry is the best formula for a successful career.
The highly practical and market-oriented curriculum, provides students with a unique set of skills that allows them to be easily inserted into the work environment.
Tel.: 809-563-2802; 809-563-2702
Facebook: Chavón – La Escuela de Diseño