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Christopher Watkins
Director, New England Film Academy

Originally from southern California, Chris moved to Maine over twenty years ago and was immediately enchanted by the Maine way of life. What he found was not only a great place to raise his son but a vibrant community bustling with creative energy.

Chris quickly formed Silver Screen Dreams and hired USM Screenwriting Instructor Dan Chaimowitz to teach 2-day screenwriting workshops that would give aspiring writers an opportunity to learn the basics of the craft in a manageable amount of time.

After completing several projects including some commercial work, a short film and a reality show pilot, Chris saw a great opportunity to get back to his educational roots. By combining his love of kids and his passion for filmmaking, he found the perfect fit for his new venture and in the summer of 2006, the New England Film Academy opened its doors.

"Movies are such a major part of everyone’s lives, the way they touch us, inspire us, make us laugh or make us cry. They offer a shared emotional experience that we talk about again and again, year after year. Our goal at the Academy is to demystify the movie making process, bringing this larger than life scenario down to a day to day reality for all these kids. Working together in a creative, collaborative environment, towards common goals, offers practical and applicable life-long lessons that we hope will carry over to their lives, whether they pick up a camera ever again, or not. For those who do want to further their filmmaking/acting careers, we can give them a head start in getting them closer to realizing their dreams because without dreams, the world would be a very ordinary place."

Now, ten years later, the Academy continues to grow and introduce the exciting world of film production to over 50 kids each summer and has proven to be everything he had hoped it would be and so much more...