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Show biz school opens in Burbank

An international filmmaking and acting school has opened in Burbank. Its operators plan to create opportunities for students and graduates by developing connections with local production companies and studios.

The International Academy of Film and Television opened its doors last month at 635 S. San Fernando Blvd., offering filmmaking workshops, acting classes and a new visual effects program for teens.

Kacy Andrews, the school's chief executive, said academy officials chose the Burbank site for several reasons, including its proximity to major film studios and a wide range of production companies.

It is also near the Golden State (I-5) Freeway, in a safe area of the city and within walking distance of downtown Burbank, Andrews said.

While the acting classes are basically divided evenly between males and females, the filmmaking classes are 60% to 70% male, reflective of an industry standard where it's primarily men behind the camera, Andrews said.

However, schools like the International Academy of Film and Television hope to give more women the chance to take roles on the production side of filmmaking, she added.

Andrews, who has experience as a producer, has lived in Glendale for about 15 years. It was her connection to Glendale that led the academy to donate 15 scholarships for summer classes to the city.

The academy also wanted to participate in the city's annual Man's Inhumanity to Man film event last month, where the scholarships where awarded.

The academy initially launched in the Philippines in 2004, said Andrews.

She said about 50% of the students at the original school are from the Philippines, while the other half come from other countries.

The academy expanded to take over an existing film school in Miami in 2010.

"We've had students from 30 different countries attend the schools," Andrews said.

Several academy graduates have found success in the entertainment industry, Andrews said.

And at the end of this month, the academy will open a school in Hong Kong, extending its international reach, she added.

A graduate of the Miami school had his film "Game Time" recently distributed by Lionsgate and Redbox.

And a graduate from the school in the Philippines was hired by Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to work on his videos.

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