Students explore careers in film and digital media with help from industry-leading pros
Nearly 400 West Michigan students were surprised with a visit from “Black Adam” co-star, SAG Award-winning actor and co-founder of 9B Collective Aldis Hodge. The live video interaction took place at the annual Mosaic Film Experience Event, an immersive film, digital media and storytelling education festival that provides students with career exploration opportunities. The 2022 event occurred at Celebration Cinema Studio Park on Thursday, November 3, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“Acting is a very tough industry but so fulfilling, especially when you can see your art affect progressive change and help people accomplish things or create opportunities that they didn’t have before,” said Hodge.
Founded by Hodge, Phillip Boutté Jr. and Mike Uwandi, Los Angeles-based 9B Collective is the first Black-owned concept art studio, which is comprised of 100, primarily BIPOC artists. The firm works across feature films, animation, television, video games, XR and graphic design platforms, collaborating with clients like Netflix, Marvel, Lucas Films Ltd., Pixar Animation Studios, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.
In addition to Hodge, Boutté Jr. and Uwandi, event speakers included Nate Hargress, business and legal affairs, original documentary films, Netflix; Marisa Arbona Ruiz, Emmy Award-winning producer and contributing NPR correspondent; and Jane Feldman, an award-winning photojournalist who has created portraits for former South African President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dali Lama.
“Using the platform of film and digital media, we are educating young people about a variety of careers that exist in the world while teaching 21-century career skills, like creativity and storytelling, which are helpful no matter what industry they choose to pursue,” said Skot Welch, founder, Mosaic Film Experience.
Students from 13 schools attended the 2022 Mosaic Film Experience Event, including CA Frost Environmental Science High School, Careerline Tech Center, City High Middle School, Grand Rapids Learning Center, Grand Rapids Montessori Academy, Innovation Central High School, Ottawa Hills High School, Rockford High School, Southeast Career Pathways, Southwest Middle/High School, Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, Union High School and Wyoming High School.