Hollywood is making its return to Ringling College of Art + Design in 2013, kicking off with actress Andie MacDowell.
MacDowell will open the fourth season of the college's Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab when she visits Saturday, Jan 12. The actress is starring in Hallmark Networks' first-ever primetime scripted series "Cedar Cove" based on the Debbie Macomber books.
“The continuity of the Digital Filmmaking Studio lab as we begin our fourth season firmly establishes Ringling as a top-tier film school,” said Ringling College president, Dr. Larry Thompson. “Andie MacDowell’s experience in the industry will provide significant insight for our students and her willingness to engage with them is indicative of the growing interest our program is attracting from all aspects of the entertainment industry.”
Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker will return to Ringling's lab this season after he visited last year and Billy Bob Thorton will also visit in 2013, according to the college.
MacDowell is most noted for her film roles in sex, lies and videotape, Groundhog Day, Green Card, The Object of Beauty, Short Cuts and 1990s romantic hit Four Weddings and a Funeral. She has received an Independent Spirit Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, a Golden Kamera and an Honorary César. In addition, MacDowell has served as an international spokesperson on behalf of L'Oreal Paris for over 25 years.
MacDowell's work on the "Cedar Cove" series first starts with a two-hour movie that will serve as the pilot. MacDowell stars as a small-town family court judge whose career affects the obligations of her daily life. The movie and series are scheduled to air Summer 2013 on the Hallmark Channel.
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Students in the lab, along with the Digital Film Program, learn visual storytelling while industry leaders guide them.
The Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab has brought many Hollywood luminaries to Sarasota to work directly with Ringling Digital Film students over the past three seasons. The 2012 season featured Forest Whitaker, Edward Burns, James Woods and Whit Stillman.
During the 2012 season Ringling students also worked on feature film productions including Anna Paquin’s film "Free Ride" and "Spring Breakers" directed by Harmony Korine and starring Selena Gomez. Master classes prior to 2012 have featured Werner Herzog, Bill Paxton, Martha Stewart, Andy Garcia, Paul Schiff, Oren Moverman, Ben Foster, Ed Carrol and others.
“We are excited to have Andie kick-off our fourth season,” said Sam Logan and David Shapiro, co-founders of Future of Films and partners with Ringling in producing the Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab. “The Filmmaking Studio Lab has been successful in introducing top-tier filmmakers to the incredibly talented students of Ringling College as well as to the unique Sarasota community. Our next goal is to develop a comprehensive program that places our graduates and current students directly into productions.
"Ongoing collaborations with Forest Whitaker and Werner Herzog have been successful first steps and we plan on rapidly expanding this initiative over the next year. With this field work and the build-out of one of the very best post production facilities for independent film we are very optimistic about the possibility of Sarasota and Ringling playing an important role in the independent film and media.”