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potential to help distinguish the college's young film program. That initiative began in 2008, making it the "ingénue" amid far more established programs in New York and Los Angeles. In addition to providing an opportunity for students to work alongside film profession als, the college has touted the soundstage as an economic generator for the county. "We can employ people and bring more proj ects to Sarasota," Meeker Lange pointed out. One thing that is clear is that the college's current film facili ties remain a work in progress. For exam ple, its equipment is not sufficiently high tech to help the region become a film mecca. "We don't have some thing that meets our needs, something a professional can use," Meeker Lange said. Commissioner Nora Patterson said she liked the concept of a brandnew, postproduction facility. "I like it even better" than the original renovation concept, Patterson added. The County Commission's grant extension will keep the $1.75 million available for the new soundstage. In exchange, the college has agreed to follow the county's recently adopted local hiring initiative and also to make the postproduction facility available to outside companies and filmmakers. "The use of the facility and equipment by private business/ individuals will take precedence over the use by Ringling College students or faculty," according to the county memo. BUILDING A REPUTATION Since starting its film program in 2008, Ringling College has been burnishing it repu tation for the program and its movie projects. Last year, the college made The Hollywood Reporter's list of 25 Best Film Schools for the second time in three years. Altogether, 2013 was a banner year for the college in the film and entertainment industry. 2011 alumnus Jason Letkiewicz received an Emmy nom ination for his I'm Positive television campaign for MTV, t w o s t u d e n t f i l m s won Student Academy Awards for anima tion and a production by motion design stu dents was selected as the commercial for the Sarasota Film Festival. Last summer, the college produced The Lucky 6, a student fea ture film that premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival this week. The arts school also has been involved with some nationally known productions besides Spring Breakers. For example, it helped in the shooting of the crime drama Free Ride, starring Anna Paquin. "We filmed one day inside the old Sarasota High School and had some interns who transformed one of the classrooms into a firstgrade class room," Meeker Lange said. "They edited part of that film in our film editing bays on campus." The movie was shot entirely in Sarasota County. % This facility can open opportunities here. Christine Meeker Lange Special Assistant to the President For Media Relations Sarasota News Leader April 11, 2014 Page 59

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