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IAFT Alumni Make Their Mark In Entertainment Industry


Filmmaking graduates from The International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) in Cebu are building successful careers, as evidenced by alumni Jojo Puangco and Steven Flor.

Jojo Puangco, who recently joined TV5 as a creative marketing executive, attributes his success to his IAFT education. He was among the first intake of Diploma in Filmmaking students at IAFT in 2006, enrolling after completing a communications degree from a respected university where he focused on taking film classes.

As unit director for the first season of Hardcore Brothers Easy Ride, which aired on Studio 23, Puangco applied the lessons of being flexible and preparing contingency plans. “Improvising and adjusting scripts and shots to fit the situation, like if the weather was bad, was something we learned while we made our student films. Also, we learned how to multi-task if we were undermanned,” says Puangco.

Moreover, the long shoots which he first experienced at the Academy prepared him for life on the road. “We shot for nine days straight, and practically lived in a van following the guys on the bikes. As unit director, I would be the first to rise and the last to sleep. If IAFT hadn’t already made us work in ‘real world’ conditions, I would’ve had a much harder time,” he adds.

Also, Puangco says IAFT taught him the discipline necessary in production. “I remember not working on the permits I needed for a shoot at IAFT, and trying to get one of our mentors, Mark Gary, to help me get the equipment. He basically refused and told me that I would have to live with the consequences of what I didn’t do. Ever since then, I’ve planned out the details for my pre-production work well ahead of time.”

Steven Flor co-founded Ethereel Productions, an independent production house, earlier this year. Ethereel currently creates AVPs and other end-to-end video projects, and strives to be capable of full-length features in the future. Flor developed a passion for filmmaking while developing audio-visual presentations for his classes while pursuing a business management degree. He also made short films and pursued photography for fun. After two years of freelance work, he entered IAFT in 2006 as part of the fifth intake of students.

Showcasing Filipino talent is integrated into Ethereel’s work as much as possible. “We are currently working on an in-house project entitled Askal, our first digital feature, which is funded by the National Commission on Culture and Arts. It follows the struggle of a group of graffiti artists to create change in our society with their art. Hopefully, we will be able to use this as Ethereel’s calling card.”

Flor’s experience not only taught him how to make a great film, but also how to choose the right people for his crew. “IAFT is a multi-cultural group of mentors and students, and not only do we all have a common passion, we get to share all our different preferences and styles of filmmaking. So now, using that as a model, I always make sure to work with people that are just as passionate, and also bring something new to a project.”

Reminisces Flor: “My time at the Academy gave me the skills and experience needed to work in the film industry. Napaka-realistic ng experience (The experience was so realistic) – we learned how to work hard, how to be team players, how to make the most of our time and equipment.”

About The International Academy of Film and Television

The International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) offers courses that combine theory and application under the expert auspices of leading Hollywood filmmakers serving as faculty mentors. Located in the heart of Asia on Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines, this tropical waterfront campus houses state-of-the-art facilities for filming and post production. IAFT extends a comprehensive, hands-on approach to making films and videos using the latest in equipment and technology. Courses are designed for aspiring filmmakers as well as industry professionals looking to advance their skill sets.

IAFT presents a unique internship program that allows selected students to work on feature films and television productions with Bigfoot Entertainment. Our curriculum serves to nurture the creativity and individual talents of each student, cultivating the next generation of filmmakers, and continuing the entertainment traditions of Hollywood and other film capitals of the world.

The International Academy of Film and Television - Asia’s Premier Film School.

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About Bigfoot Entertainment

Bigfoot Entertainment is an international production and film financing company based in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Bigfoot’s premier studio location is in Cebu/Philippines where the company invested an excess of one billion PHP into BIGFOOT STUDIOS, a state-of-the-art production facility with equipment comparable to leading film studios in Los Angeles such as 35mm cameras, HD cameras, Moviebird cranes, Panther dolly, and the RED camera.

Bigfoot Entertainment - leaving lasting footprints in the world of entertainment!

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