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 "Made in NY” Production Assistants (from left): Chrystal Norma, Peony Rene Cliff Jean, Adrian Moron, Brian Joseph, Tayna Orta
On the evening of Sunday, January 16, 2011 "The Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program will host its 4th Annual PA Film Festival showcasing the work of the program’s alumni at Littlefield Performance and Art Space in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  The training program was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, a non-profit whose mission is to give unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers a chance to work in an exciting career. PGA East Co-Chair of Employment, Nancy Goldman, works as job developer for the program which has graduated over 250 certified production assistants in the five years since its inception.  The PAs have worked on over 1,000 productions in the city.  This fall several students cut their teeth on John Leguizamo’s upcoming movie "Fugly” which PGA member Brian David Cange line produced.  Other PGA members, including Vice-Chairs Mark Marabella and Dana Kuznetzkoff, Steven Holtzman, Michelle Budnick, Mike Stafford, Roni Wheeler, Rachel Watanabe-Batton, Jamie Schutz, Marcia Mule and former PGA East Chair David Picker, have been guest instructors.


"Made in NY” Production Assistant Christina Chow
Many alumni work on their own projects simultaneously and the festival provides a venue for the various projects to be screened and for the graduates to network with each other for future collaborations.  Last year’s festival featured clips of 22 entries which included short films, documentaries and music videos that graduates produced, directed, shot and/or wrote themselves.  This year, for the first time, the "Made in NY” PA Training Program staff will bestow a "Best Producer” Award.  PGA East Chair, John Hadity, will provide a top honor by meeting with the winner to hone their pitch.  In 2009, then Vice Chair Lydia Dean Pilcher contributed a similar prize to Gabrielle Rivera who won with her short film Spanish Girls are Beautiful. 


"Made in NY” Production Assistant Myo Campbell
  Alexander took first prize in 2010 with his short film, Abidjan, the story of a young soccer prodigy, which was shot in New York and Ivory Coast in West Africa.  The short has gone on to win the Award of Merit from the LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood and has been an official selection in several other festivals.  Second place went to Anthony Palmini who saved his money to buy a camera and shot his short in one day.  Not only did he write and direct his VH1style mockumentary, H.U.G. Story, but he also composed the extensive score. Dorothy Hall’s documentary about a fighter, Diendo: The African Animal, garnered third place honors. Prizes of up to $1000 were donated by the local NYC production vendors Eastern Effects, Wit’s End and Gotham Sound. 

An enthusiastic crowd of more than 150 supporters turned out last year and this year’s celebration promises to be bigger and better.  For information about how you can attend, or to hire a "Made in NY” Production Assistant, please call Nancy Goldman at 718-757-5816.