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Fellowship Available for Aspiring UVM Filmmaker

Forget flying to L.A. UVM students who want to immerse themselves in filmmaking and screenwriting and learn from industry leaders need only take a short drive down I-89, where the nonprofit Stowe Story Labs helps emerging talent from around the world get work made and seen.  

Thanks to a new partnership between Stowe Story Labs and the UVM Film and Television Studies Program, a fellowship will be awarded to a UVM Film and Television Studies student with a compelling story idea, talent, skill, and a deep desire to learn to master the craft of screenwriting and filmmaking.

The fellowship covers fees to attend the four day Stowe Story Lab, held at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont, September 8-11, 2018, as well as lodging and meals. The Fellow will also receive a free copy of Final Draft 10, the newest version of the industry standard in screenwriting software, among other benefits.

Founded in 2013, Stowe Story Labs is the creation of David Rocchio, a 1982 UVM alumnus who studied political science and history. Outside of class, he was immersed in the arts, hosting a radio show on WRUV, writing for the Cynic, and running the concert bureau. Rocchio took film classes from celebrated Professor Emeritus Frank Manchel and was inspired. “My heart was film,” when he graduated, he says, “but I followed my brain and studied law after college.” Still, in addition to practicing as a lawyer, he continued making films and has screened work at Cannes.

“We are thrilled to initiate this fellowship to a deserving UVM student,” says Rocchio.“Bringing talented Vermont-based undergraduates to our program is critical to our mission, which is to find and nurture emerging talents and, at the same time, expose them to the complex world of the international film industry.”

Including UVM, there are 13 fellowships to the Fall Lab, as well as many partial scholarships available (no separate fellowship or scholarship application is required). Applications are now being accepted to the sixth-annual lab, and the deadline to apply is May 27 for UVM applicants. The discount (free) code for current students is UVMFELLOW and the discount code (15 percent) for other UVM affiliates is UVM SSL.

The four-day fall story lab is the entry point to the program and provides:

  • four days of small group workshops with celebrated industry mentors
  • peer-to-peer group sessions 
  • in-conversation interviews and Q&As
  • skill and craft workshops
  • conversations about production, financing, and distribution systems
  • structured networking and social time with peers and mentors

“I’m so happy to announce this new opportunity for our students,” says Deb Ellis, director of UVM’s Film and Television Studies Program. “It offers a tangible challenge, and for the recipient, an amazing way to get real world feedback as they move from the classroom toward their creative dreams.”

About the Film and Television Studies Program:

Film and Television Studies at UVM is solidly based in a liberal arts curriculum that includes an investigation of culture and provides students with a rigorous engagement between cultural and media oriented history, theory and practice. We are dedicated to producing critical media thinkers and creators who are capable of working in and contributing to our increasingly diverse and technologically sophisticated society.


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