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Five Point Park University students landed internships at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 22-Feb. 1 in Park City, Utah. The following students are interning with companies at the independent film festival run by legendary actor Robert Redford's Sundance Institute:

  • Daymon Long, a freshman cinema production major;
  • David Randolph, a freshman cinema production major;
  • Justin Illig, a freshman cinema production major;
  • Neiman Outlen, a senior theatre major; and
  • Aaron Outlen, a senior theatre major.

The students earned the opportunity by applying with Hollywood, Calif.-based The Creative Mind Group, which connects the next generation of talented television and film professionals to the entertainment industry through the most prestigious film festivals and markets. The firm has sent more than 1,100 participants to Sundance, and the Toronto and Cannes film festivals, among others.

Travis Duncan, director of Global Programs for The Creative Mind Group, said thousands of applications are received per year and a committee determines which people are selected.

"There is a very tight vetting process," Duncan said. "What we look for is people who are passionate and actively driving themselves - people who are taking charge of their creative future."

Interns are placed with companies within the industry who are doing work at the festivals. The students will have access to film screenings, panels and networking events while in Park City. The ultimate goal, Duncan said, is to put interns in a position to build relationships that can lead to jobs within the film industry.

"Everybody's always looking for great help, especially in the festival environment that's fast-paced and high stakes," Duncan said. "If you can get someone into your world that has a positive attitude and makes your life easier - they cherish that. If you're humble and work hard, it really pays off."

Lexx Truss, a senior cinema production major at Point Park, attended the Toronto Film Festival last fall through The Creative Mind Group. He applied for the organization's Filmmaker Institute, which placed him in a small international crew of filmmakers to make a short film in competition with two other crews. He also was able to attend screenings in Toronto, which included the Canadian premieres of Oscar contenders "The Theory of Everything," "Whiplash" and "Foxcatcher." Truss encouraged his classmates to apply for this opportunity.

"My experience was amazing," Truss said. "I am more than grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to go."


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