Established in 2015, the GFA is a joint initiative between the University System of
Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia. It aims to meet the
educational and employment needs of Georgia's film and television sector.
The GFA offer three industry certifications delivered through 28 partner institutions
across Georgia, including Savannah State University, the University of Georgia and
Georgia State University. 31 The GFA also works with these educational institutions to
develop industry-relevant curricula and training opportunities. Through its partnerships
with educational institutions, industry entities such as Disney, MGM, Netflix, HBO and
industry unions IATSE Local 479 and Local 491 the GFA ensures its curriculum
remains attuned to industry-relevant needs and provides students with a practical
education that prepares them for work in the film and television industries.
Aims and Objectives
The GFA aims to bridge the skills gap in the state’s growing film and television sector
by offering targeted education and training programs. Through its industry
collaborations, the GFA aims to continuously adapt its curricula to furnish students with
the relevant skills and credentials needed to enter Georgia’s expanding film and
Since its foundation, the GFA has profoundly influenced Georgia's film and television
landscape and is now considered the gold standard for industry training. Working
alongside major Georgia studios like Trilith Studios, Athena Studios, and OFS Studios
and leveraging expert instructors and state-of-the-art equipment, the GFA has created
a unique environment to ensure students across Georgia are poised for industry
integration post-certification. Notably, the GFA has collaborated with Trilith Studios
(then Pinewood Atlanta), where it opened a 15,860 square-foot soundstage for hands-
on experience education as part of the Semester on Set initiative. 32 Similarly, Athena
Studios has dedicated a 14,600-square-foot soundstage and learning center
exclusively for the education and training of students in the University of Georgia and
the GFA programs. 33 These partnerships with studios and the provision of student
soundstages underscore the GFA's commitment to providing real-world training
environments for its students.
GFA students are provided first-hand production experience and an opportunity to
jumpstart their careers through the GFA’s internship/apprenticeship course. Part of
their industry certifications, the GFA internship/apprenticeship is a highly competitive
course which matches eligible students with professional film and television
productions shooting in Georgia. Thanks to the GFA’s strong engagement with the film
and television industry and great relationships with IATSE and the Georgia Film Office,
the GFA are able to reach out to every production that shoots in Georgia to source
potential internships, apprenticeships and jobs for GFA students.
31 Participating Institutions. Georgia Film Academy. Accessible at: https://georgiafilmacademy.edu/academics/participating-institutions
32 New Georgia Film Academy Soundstage Opens At Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Pinewood, 26 th April 2016. Accessible at: https://pinewoodgroup.com/pinewood-today/news/new-georgia-film-academy-gfa-soundstage-opens-at-pinewood-atlanta-studios
33 Athena Studios dedicates state-of-the art soundstage, learning center to University of Georgia and Georgia Film Academy. Athena Studios, 4th November 2022. Accessible at: https://athenastudiosga.com/blog/athena-studios-dedicates-state-of-the-art-soundstage-learning-center-to-university-of-georgia-and-georgia-film-academy/
The Georgia Film Academy has placed 1200 interns onto over 150 films and TV
productions since its inception
GFA instructors are experienced industry professionals able to develop and deliver
coursework that aligns with the needs of an industry often characterized by rapid
technological changes. Chuck E. Kerr, lead production instructor, and Greg Gause,
head of post-production, lead a team of instructors who, along with GFA leadership
and professional staff, hold more than 834 years of professional film and television
experience. Many GFA faculty continue to work in Georgia’s film and television
industry and, as a result, provide valuable current insight, knowledge and experience
to the GFA student cohort.
The Georgia Film Academy Scholarship Fund, operated through the USG Foundation,
provides tuition support of $750 for a single course or full tuition coverage of $2,250
per student, the GFA reinforces its commitment to educating all of Georgia. These
efforts contribute to a broader demographic engagement, leading to higher levels of
employment among diverse communities outside of Atlanta.
To extend the film/TV production training pipeline to high school students, GFA has
launched secondary school programs to provide curriculum and teacher training in the
areas of content creation, production, and post-production so that students may be
exposed to the full ecosystem of the film, TV and digital entertainment industries.
The GFA, in partnership with the CTAE-- Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education
division of the Georgia Department of Education, created and now offers GFA
production training workshops designed to teach the Audio-Visual Technology and
Film (AVTV) teachers across the state the latest film standards and provide the
schools with updated film equipment to supplement their existing AVTF programs.
Working with the Fayette County Schools and the Georgia Department of Education,
the GFA also helped to create a new English Language Arts course called Dramatic
writing for Film, TV and theater 1. This course can serve as an ELA core requirement
option as well as a fine arts elective. Complementing this course, the GFA conducts
training workshops to certify teachers. In the past five years, more than 360 educators
have completed this course, which is estimated to have reached over 12,500 students
throughout the state.
More recently, the GFA has initiated a workshop series in Broadcasting and New
Media to support the growing trend of live-streaming varsity esports in Georgia high
schools. Beyond educator support, the GFA orchestrates summer camps for high
school students, providing them with training and mentorship from industry
professionals on state-of-the-art equipment.
These endeavors are directly aligned with the GFA’s objective of fostering and
expanding the state’s film, TV, and Creative Media industries, and to foster and retain
creative talent in Georgia. Through partnering with educational institutions across
Georgia, the GFA has enabled students from all backgrounds access to an education
that will lead to career in a high-growth industry.