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Florida Schools to Partner in Film Scholarship Program

Florida Schools to Partner in Film Scholarship Program


Gov. Jeb Bush and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) have joined forces to create a film scholarship program for Florida’s Black college students.

As part of the program, Bethune-Cookman College will partner with the University of Central Florida (UCF) for a new five-year film degree program, Bush announced earlier this month.

The governor’s film and entertainment office is working with the UNCF to raise money for the scholarships, aimed at attracting Black students to major in film.

Students will attend Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach for the first three years, then transfer to UCF in Orlando, earning bachelor’s degrees from both schools.

“We have so few minority students involved in filmmaking in Florida,” says Dr. Johnson Akinleye, chairman of the Division of Humanities at Bethune-Cookman. “The idea is to increase that number.”

Minority film program partnerships also will be created between Florida State University and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, and between the University of Miami and Florida Memorial College in Miami. Edward Waters and Florida Memorial are both historically Black institutions.

The UNCF/Richard E. Norman Scholarship for African American Cinema will be announced in June at the American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach, Bush said.

Norman, a Jacksonville native, made six feature films to help establish Black cinema in the early 1900s.

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