The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park Campus is set to receive a $2.5 million award to enhance its film program.
The grant comes from a bill that will award $50 million in BP settlement funds to various Mississippi Gulf Coast counties.
USM’s Visualization and Digital Multimedia Center of Excellence will work in conjunction with the Film Studies and Production program in the School of Coastal Resilience.
The center aims to promote a better understanding of the oceans, coasts, and the Blue Economy that they sustain. One of the overarching goals is to enhance creativity in students through film studies and to prepare USM students for high-demand occupations in careers like coastal research.
“The Film Program at Southern Miss’ Gulf Park campus is designed to immerse students in the study and practice of film as an expressive and professional art form,” Mistretta said. “The new center will expand our ability to offer creative storytelling capabilities through experiential learning. Deeply rooted within the diverse environment of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the USM Film Program provides a platform where students can cultivate intellectual development and creativity to help transform their community. The center will help us nurture collaborative learning experiences that emphasize problem-solving, communication skills, and social engagement.”
The center will also be the host of an annual environmental film festival and used to promote stories that impact people living in coastal and maritime areas.
USM students will have the opportunity to have hands-on experience in state-of-the-art film, digital and multimedia technology.