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First-year Student Lands Cannes Film Festival Internship

Ryan Blitzer ready to work hard, play hard in Nice, France

By Mackenzie Ferch, B.A. Journalism ’14

First-year student Ryan Blitzer heads to the Cannes International Film Festival in May.

Ryan Blitzer and Chris Coyne (B.F.A./M.I.T. Digital Game Development; B.F.A. ’16, M.I.T. ’17) take their filming and photography outside the classroom, and beyond the university.

Tampa, Fla. native Ryan Blitzer hopes to make creative strides as an intern at this year's Cannes International Film Festival, scheduled to take place May 14-25 in Nice, France. Eager and excited to learn, Blitzer - a freshman Meadows and Hunt Scholar pursuing a double major in film and media arts (B.F.A.) and in advertising (B.A.) and minors in arts management and creative computing - will experience and investigate the intricacies of the festival firsthand through the American Pavilion Student Program, the only business accredited by the Festival to allow interns and students to attend the event without entering a film of their own into the Festival. According to Blitzer, America is the only country in the world to send interns to the Festival, and says the experience, access and opportunities for the interns are unparalleled. “It's a work-hard, play-hard approach,” says Blitzer, who will be working for six hours each day at the Festival.

Focusing on the study of production and directing, Blitzer is a member of the Student Filmmakers Association at SMU, an avid video gamer, photographer and lover of film and the arts. While young, and at an early stage in his college career, Blitzer demonstrates a passion and genuine talent in the realm of film and media studies and production.

"I happened to notice this poster on one of the bulletin boards that gave details about interning at Cannes and found out that they were coming to campus to give a presentation. They visited my screenwriting class and I thought ‘OK, I don't know if I'll get it, but I'll apply - Why not?’” Blitzer applied online, submitted his résumé during the “Snowpocalypse” of last semester, interviewed over the phone during winter break and was accepted to the internship program. He flies out of DFW Airport May 10, lands in Nice May 11 and arrives back home May 27. Graduate student Erin Hedrick (B.A. Film & Media Arts, ’13; M.A. Advertising, ’15), will accompany Blitzer; Hedrick, who attended the Festival as an intern three years ago, will participate in the American Pavilion’s alumni program while in Nice.

At the time of this writing, Blitzer was awaiting word on what his duties will be as a Cannes intern, but he knows he will likely be working at the American Pavilion booth during the Festival. “I’ll work for six hours a day, and the other 18 I can do whatever I want,” Blitzer says. “If I mingle with the people there, I can go to all these parties with the celebrities...I have to bring a tux...I'm so excited...It's crazy, and you never know what exactly will happen at film events,” he adds with a grin.

Interning through the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival will enable Blitzer to grow as a film student in a way that extends beyond the classroom itself. "I've been on student sets, I've been on professional sets, I've got a portfolio…this internship will provide a chance for me to delve into the business aspects - the marketing, advertising, promoting and selling - of film and media.

"I'm really excited to go to Cannes and learn the technicalities and business aspects of the film industry,” he says. “It’s a huge networking opportunity."

Check out Ryan Blitzer's film and media e-portfolio, learn more about the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival and explore the American Pavilion Student Program.

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