Panel examines minorities in film

Associated Students (AS) will host a Hollywood minority panel at Chapman on Nov. 23 allowing Hollywood insiders to share their craft and discuss the struggles of being a minority in the film industry.

Associated Students (AS) will host a Hollywood minority panel at Chapman on Nov. 23 allowing Hollywood insiders to share their craft and discuss the struggles of being a minority in the film industry.We are striving to put an accurate understanding of the struggle of a person of color or someone who is gay and perhaps present a strategy of how minorities can go about doing it,” said Jen Clark, AS director of multicultural awareness. “The majority can learn about how to alleviate the struggle.”The panel consists of television and film producers, directors and editors who are minorities.”This event is being brought to Chapman because it brings a multi-cultural awareness,” said Clark. “We have so many film students that we have a built-in audience.”Clark was first inspired to put on this event at Chapman after reading a Los Angeles Times article last summer which talked about the lack of minorities on television.Later, she went to the Women in Focus panel hosted at Chapman every spring, which focuses on women as a minority in a business dominated by men.”The event really impressed me,” said Clark. “It was done so well, I’m not a film student and I went.”However, the Women in Focus panel focused on the craft itself more than the minority’s struggles.With the Hollywood minority panel, Clark expanded that idea to represent people of color and gays and the obstacles they face in the film business.”We have not done anything specific on minorities and their struggle,” said Julie Gorzik, events coordinator for the film school. “We focus on the craft of being a woman writer, producer or cinematographe. Our panels concentrate on Hollywood professionals and their experiences in the industry.”With support from the film school, Clark contacted people in the industry who she had met in the past, both through her own acting experience and from growing up the daughter of a music executive.”These panelists are important because they’re educated and are good in their field,” Clark said. “A lot of these people have connections, clout and experience. It’s a stepping stone for students to network, and they too need to be recognized for their accomplishments.”The event begins with a luncheon, after which master of ceremony Mildred Lewis, professor of film and television will ask the panelists about their careers and experiences in the industry.”I thought of what would be of interest to me, my students, faculty and administration,” she said. Lewis added that she would ask the panelists questions on the role of faith in their work, if the business provides new opportunities, if more people like the panelists will tell their stories and if there is funding to do so.The panel will also discuss and show clips of their work. Audience members will then be given the opportunity to ask the panel questions, according to Clark.The event really gives an insight into the industry to all students, according to Lewis.Currently, the film school is 63 percent male, and 71 percent Caucasian.”There is an increasing concern with understanding each other,” said Lewis. “What people know about each other comes through what we consider to be entertainment, historically and fictionally, there are a range of stories to be told, which really invigorate the industry. This panel will really open things up a bit.”The event is open to interested faculty and students, however an R.S.V.P. is needed by Nov. 19.Clark said she expects about 25 people to attend the event, 10 whom are students.Clark hopes the event will provide the opportunity for Chapman students, faculty and administration to reach a better level of understanding each other.The panelists speaking at the event include Alex Nogales, Lou Pepe, Kathryn Galan, Sayed Badreya, Hesham Issawi, and Donna Chavous.Nogales is the president and chair of The National Hispanic Media Coalition. He was a full time producer at KCBS television for 13 years and earned three Emmy Awards for his 1980s television shows “Kid Quiz,” “At Issue” and “Trouble Shooter.” Pepe is a director of documentaries and foreign projects.Galan, is an executive director and part of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. She has produced films such as “French Kiss” (1995) and “Squanto” (1994).Badreya, is a director, actor and founder of the Hollywood Middle East Film Festival, he has had roles in film such as “The Insider” (1999), “Three Kings” (1999) “Independence Day” (1996) and “Stargate” (1994).Issawi is an editor, director and writer. He has produced the documentary “Saving the Sphinx,” in 1997 for The Learning Channel.Chavous is a producer, and her recent credits include “The Wash” (2001) a comedy starring Snoop Doggy Dog and Dr. Dre.

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