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College Forum Volume19, Issue 1 : Page 2

ALUMNI news THE WIZARDS OF MDC Working on the award-winning short film El Mago ( The Wizard ) brought fond memories to mind for MDC alumnus David Liz . “I served as the director, cinematographer and editor,” Liz said of El Mago , which recently won Best Art Film and Best Original Music at the pres-tigious Monaco International Film Festival . “It brought me back to my roots at MDC, where we all pitched in to create great work.” Liz, who is now working as a writer and direc-tor, credits MDC with getting him started in his film career. “Miami Dade College is where I discovered that film was something I could pursue,” he said. “Before that, I had dreams and aspirations, but no clue how to achieve them.” MDC alumnus Gabriel Sánchez, right, plays the title role in El Mago ( The Wizard ), with Ana Rodríguez as the pianist, at left. Alumni Shine at Monaco International Film Festival in ‘El Mago’ with energy and ready to tackle any project.” Besides Liz and Rodríguez, MDC connections run deep throughout the film. The sound editor is Julio Licona , who is studying music at MDC’s North Campus and will graduate this spring. And the screenplay was written by Agustín González , an MDC faculty member in the film department. As for the cast, Sánchez has the title role of El Mago , and Miami Dade College acting student Héctor Montoto plays the security guard. A Medic and an Artist Montoto, who works as a rehab technician at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s burn unit, said he is pursuing acting as his ultimate career. “This was my first experience in a film, and I loved it,” he said. “I have big goals that I want to pursue in acting.” Sánchez, who earned a degree from MDC with a focus in music, is now working on a bachelor’s degree in biology at MDC. He also plays guitar and performs professionally in local venues. With these many talents, Sánchez figures that whatever he does with his biology degree will pay the bills, while the music will always fulfill his artistic aspirations. The versatile skill sets of Sánchez, Montoto, Liz and the others on the project come as no sur-prise to Rodríguez. “One thing about working at MDC, you realize how much talent there is on campus,” she said. “I truly value and appreciate the people I’m sur-rounded by at Miami Dade College.” – WV Group Effort Yields Rewards The teamwork involved to create El Mago is a shining example of the talent that fills the class-rooms and state-of-the-art film and sound stu-dios at MDC. The short film was produced by Ana L. Rodríguez , who teaches music appre-ciation and piano at North Campus. She com-posed and recorded the music in the 12-minute film, where the score plays a starring role and there is no dialogue. She also has an acting role as the pianist. The idea for the film was inspired by Gabriel Sánchez , a former student of Rodríguez. “He would always tell me: ‘You should put your music on YouTube,’ ” she said. Years later, she decided to make a music vid-eo. During that process, the video evolved into a short film. Straddling Genres “It’s a hybrid work that blurs the lines be-tween music film and short video,” Rodríguez explained. Sánchez said their concept of a music video for classical compositions that also contains a plot was atypical for the medium. “Ana and I brainstormed, and we came up with the idea for the story, and we ran with it,” he said. “Ana is free-spirited but meticulous and open to a lot of ideas. She is always bustling Community Pays Tribute to Former MDC President undreds of community leaders, colleagues and family members recently gathered at Miami Dade College to pay tribute to MDC President Emeritus Dr. Robert H. McCabe during a celebration of life at Wolfson Campus’ McCabe Hall. McCabe served as MDC’s president for 16 years, retiring in 1995. Many of the speakers, including former Florida Sen. and Gov. Bob Graham, lauded McCabe’s kindness, passion for helping students succeed and dedication to ensuring the underserved had access to quality higher education. He is considered a pioneer in remedial education innovation, faculty promotion and recognition programs. During his tenure, Miami Dade College received national praise for its excellence. Dr. Robert McCabe /MDCollege H MIAMI DADE COLLEGE COLLEGE f orum February 2015 • Volume 19 • Number 1 Published by Miami Dade College, Office of Communications 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2296 Send emails to Communications Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Juan C . Mendieta Marketing Communications Director . . . . . . . . .Irene Giménez Muñoz Editorial Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brenda Krebs, Ph .D . Copy Editors/Contributors . . . . . . . . . . .Nnéka Nnolim, Monica Roos, Anne-Margaret Swary Graphic Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pasita Andino, Reynaldo Arroyo, Carmen Bosch, Grizelle Paz Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cristian Lazzari, Carlos Llano Production Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Smitherman For more information about MDC programs, call 305-237-8888 or visit @MDCollege @MDCollege

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