Northern Marianas College (NMC) and the CNMI Public School System (PSS) have partnered to launch an exciting and innovative initiative, Cinema on Saipan: Movie Making in the Marianas, a program aimed at nurturing the creative talents of high school students.
Facilitated and coordinated by the NMC’s Community Development Institute (CDI), the three-week cinema program aims to provide a platform for aspiring filmmakers to explore their passion for storytelling and film production in a supportive and educational environment.
Cinema on Saipan is a comprehensive program designed to introduce PSS high school students to the art and craft of filmmaking. Throughout the course of three weeks, the program will immerse students in various aspects of the filmmaking process, from pre-production to post-production. Each week will be dedicated to specific topics to ensure a holistic learning experience.
The instructor for the program is Demetrius Borge, a Film and Media Culture major from Middlebury College. Borge brings a wealth of experience, having produced captivating films for prestigious organizations. As an esteemed instructor, he has taught photography and college cinema courses, inspiring countless students to explore their creative abilities. His versatility as a producer, director, editor, and cinematographer has earned him numerous awards, and he has collaborated with renowned clients including Target, Vermont Small Business Development Corporation, Middlebury College, and The Wall Street Journal.
"I hope that my students will look at films a little bit differently,” shared Borge. “To understand the complexity, efforts, and decision-making of producing a film. To see themselves as storytellers and filmmakers capable of creating a great piece of cinema. To take an idea, turn it into a script, shoot it, edit it, and screen it.
During the first week, students will delve into the fundamental principles of filmmaking. Borge will guide participants in understanding the art of storytelling, screenplay writing, and the essential roles within a film production crew. This foundational knowledge will serve as a cornerstone for the students as they embark on their cinematic journey.
The second week will see students stepping into the exhilarating world of film production. They will receive hands-on training in cinematography, learning camera techniques, lighting, and sound recording. Additionally, participants will explore the post-production process, gaining expertise in video editing, sound design, and visual effects using industry-standard equipment and software.
In the program's final week, students will work collaboratively in groups to create their own short-films. This team-based approach will encourage teamwork, effective communication, and problem-solving skills as participants work together to bring their cinematic visions to life.
The culmination of the Cinema on Saipan: Movie Making in the Marianas program will be a showcase event where the students' short films will be premiered. This special occasion will celebrate the hard work and dedication of the students, offering them an opportunity to share their creative achievements. The showcase will undoubtedly inspire and captivate the community, showcasing the immense talent and potential of the CNMI's youth.
For NMC President Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero, the program is part of the ongoing momentum at NMC.
“This is an exciting time at the College. With new facilities, new programs, and new services, we continue to launch programs that meet the needs of the Commonwealth. This film seminar is a key part of that overall effort. Not only does it fulfill a promise we made to invest in the CNMI’s nascent film industry by providing training with high end production value, but it also empowers these young, aspiring filmmakers to tell compelling and authentic stories from their perspectives. Their stories matter; their voices matter; and we are giving them a valuable platform that amplifies both. I cannot wait to see their films on the big screen,” Deleon Guerrero said.
Cinema on Saipan marks a momentous occasion for Northern Marianas College as it proudly hosts its inaugural film program. The collaboration with the CNMI Public School System reflects both institutions’ commitment to nurturing creativity and providing a platform for young minds to explore their artistic inclinations. This program is set to inspire and empower a new generation of filmmakers in the CNMI, paving the way for the foundation of the local film industry.
Sheryne Yang and Raja Sevugan, participants of NMC’s cinema program, film a scene together.