Ringling College of Art and Design calls lights, camera and action on new film facility.
Ringling College of Art and Design unveiled its latest in a series of a new facilities at the newly completed Sound Stage A on April 4.
Faculty and patrons gathered at the sound stage to cut the ribbon on the first of two sound stages that will sit on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Cocoanut Ave.
Ringling College of Art and Design President Larry Thompson noted that this was a milestone moment for the film program. The program, currently ranked number 16 in the country has its eyes set on a top five national ranking, and then, Thompson said, the top one.
But Thompson said the potential influence of the facility extended outside Ringling's campus.
"It's an even more important moment for the community, for the county and for the city," Thompson said.
Representatives from the Sarasota County Commission and the Sarasota City Commission attended the event to support working to attract filmmakers to Sarasota County.
"Dr. Thompson, you have built it, and I hope they come," Sarasota County Commissioner and former Florida State Senator Nancy Detert said during the ribbon cutting.
The soundstage was funded via a partnership with Semkhor Productions, which also partners with Ringling for The Studio Lab. The program facilitates student conversations and workshops with film industry professionals like actor Ethan Hawke and director Antoine Fuqua, who helped but the ribbon for the new sound stage.
Afterwards Fuqua, director of films like "Training Day," "Shooter," and "The Magnificent Seven," answered questions on the future of film and Sarasota's stake in the industry.
"I see endless possibilities, not just for me, but what you're doing at Ringling," Fuqua said. "Hollywood will go where the best deal is ... If you build it they will come."