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Pictured is Hanjin Park, M.F.A., assistant professor in the Department of Cinema Arts at Point Park University. Photo | Nick Koehler

Hanjin Park
, M.F.A., joined the full-time faculty in the Department of Cinema Arts in August 2017. Park has directed and edited projects for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GNC, AARP, and Japanese and Korean major record label studios. His independent films have screened at more than 40 film festivals around the world, and internationally distributed through iTunes and Ruthless Studio. He was one of the first two filmmakers to be selected in the Diversity Filmmaking Fellowship at J.J. Abrams' production company, Bad Robot.

How do you incorporate your real-world experience into the classes you teach?

From my industry experiences, I've learned having a unique vision and voice is crucial to succeed in the film industry. My personal history and background have built my own identity as a filmmaker. Therefore, I want the students to acknowledge, appreciate and respect their own backgrounds. I believe that other words for difference are creativity and uniqueness. In my film production classes, I select to screen movie examples that share the same theme, and we explore how a story and style - from character development, inner conflicts and overcoming obstacles to transformation - could be tremendously differed by filmmakers' own cultural backgrounds, traditions and experiences.

What is your approach to teaching?

I believe that a film school should not only be a place where students learn the technical art of filmmaking, but also a place that utilizes a diverse set of practices and perspectives to foster their growth as unique storytellers with personal voices.

What advice do you have for prospective cinema arts majors?

To succeed as a filmmaker, you need passion and commitment. Read and write as much as you can. Watch as many films as you can. And read and watch your favorites over and over again until you know them inside and out. The more you know, the stronger voice your films will have. Most importantly, go out and make your films.

What do you enjoy most about teaching in the cinema arts department at Point Park University?

It's exciting to watch our talented cinema students grow as storytellers. They are very engaged and invested in filmmaking which inspires me to go the extra mile to teach the students.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Point Park's cinema arts program offers hands-on filmmaking experience. You will have the opportunities to direct, write, produce, shoot, edit and sound design a film. The courses will help you to find your talent and foster the skills to succeed in the real world.

Photo by Nick Koehler, freshman photography major

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