Three Louisiana colleges awarded $500,000 digital entertainment grant

Louisiana News

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BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Three colleges in Louisiana have been awarded a $500,000 digital entertainment grant from Gov. John Bel Edwards’ motion picture incentive program.

The University of New Orleans (UNO), Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) and Nunez Community College (Nunez CC) will receive $250,000 in two annual installments from the Entertainment Development Fund given by The Digital Media Institute at InterTech (DMII). The award covers faculty and staff salaries, IT services, and expenses towards the distance learning program.

“We congratulate DMII on its expansion through UNO, Northwestern and Nunez as they extend more opportunities for Louisiana residents to obtain the education and training needed to contribute to our entertainment industry,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “The Entertainment Development Fund boosts workforce education and development and provides opportunities for our state’s content creators, like those at the Digital Media Institute.”

Through DMII, students will complete an accredited one-year certificate program in animation, visual effects and interactive content. DMII offers digital media education and training.

“Through the Animation, Visual Effects and Interactive Content program, students will learn 3D modeling, texturing, animation, motion capture, digital cinema, virtual production, virtual reality and augmented reality content, digital compositing and editing on the same tech used by major studios,” DMII Executive Director John Miralles said. “Our model is responsive to the industry’s desire to have useful skills on day one of employment.”

NSU Vice President of the Office of Technology, Innovation, and Economic Development Darlene Williams said that the certification prepares students who are interested for the digital media and film industry.

“Northwestern will assist DMII in marketing the offering and will create local accessibility by providing classroom space,” Williams said.

UNO Vice President of Research and Economic Development Matt Tarr said the university hopes to expand the current Film Production, Computer Science and Fine Arts courses.

“At UNO, we are excited about the opportunities this partnership will give our students and the community of businesses looking for graduates with key skills,” Tarr said. “DMII’s courses align with our mission of making sure our graduates are workforce-ready and prepared to succeed.”

The Entertainment Development Fund is part of the motion picture incentive program signed into law by Edwards in 2017. 

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