December 7—The Georgia Film Academy celebrated its first anniversary with a graduation of its first class of 209 students.
The celebration was held at the GFA’s Sound Stage A at Pinewood Studios kicked off by Executive Director Jeffrey Stepakoff, who celebrated the Film Academy, saying “there is no program like this anywhere in the country.” Additional speakers included Chancellor Hank Huckaby of the University System of Georgia, who thanked Stepakoff for all of his work and announced his retirement at the end of 2016; Commissioner Gretchen Corbin of the Technical College System of Georgia, who acknowledged the legislative branch that made the Film Academy possible; Kate McArdle, Director of Film Workforce Development for the Academy; and select graduates of the program. Attending graduates received their GFA certification cards and put on a demonstration of their learned skills, under the supervision of instructor Dan Kelly. By the end of the year, 610 students are projected to have completed
GFA course one, and 212 will complete on-set production internships.