Filmmaker Ramon Hamilton’s Production Company Equally Prioritizes Its Digital Arts Education Division.

HamiltonOnSetSmuggled

Now entering its third year, Think Ten Media Group is an innovative social venture that allows Co-Founder Ramon Hamilton to combine his passion for film making with his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. He not only creates media himself but also inspires, empowers and educates others to create media as well. Hamilton, a Dominican-American Writer/Director, who began teaching film to youth in 2007, has a firm understanding of the power of media to create change and engage audiences and individuals in meaningful dialogues and thought. He knows that films can be both commercially successful, while also engaging a broad audience and telling important stories. He see’s the value of engaging individuals, particularly youth in creating their own media rather than strictly consuming it (which youth currently do at alarming rates – estimating 53+ hours of media consumption each week by youth in the U.S.)

Hamilton’s recent Artist Residencies include partnerships with: LA’s BEST, the largest after-school provider for the Los Angeles Unified School District, and East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy, a unique public high school in East Los Angeles. The majority of the youth that Hamilton works with directly are Latino; he knows how important it is for these students to see a successful Latino running his or her own business and making their own films. “It inspires and engages students when they see someone who is successful and like them – coming from a similar background. It allows the students to begin to reconsider what their futures may hold for them. Film, in particular, seems magical to them at first; but as they learn to create their own projects and see that they can do something that previously seemed impossible to them, it can translate into other aspects of their lives.”

EastLAStudentsWinningAwards
In Hamilton’s film classes, the students learn in a very hands-on manner: they craft the story, write the screenplay, shoot, act and direct the film projects and then learn to edit them. Students from East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy recently won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Youth Music Video competition of the Reel Rasquache Art and Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Last year, Hamilton’s first official feature length film through Think Ten Media Group made the rounds of the film festival circuit with significant success. This success includes 5 awards and 15 official selections. The film also garnered significant media attention, including features from NBC Latino and ABC/Univision.

GETSMUGGLED

The film Smuggled, tells the story of a mother and son being smuggled into the U.S. and all that this precarious journey entails. The film was informed not only by first-hand accounts and stories of immigrants. This includes stories of individuals that Hamilton personally knew. This also includes the story of his own mother, who came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic as a student. Many aspects of the mother-son relationship between Hamilton and his mother directly influenced the film. Hamilton wrote, directed, shot, edited and produced Smuggled.

“At Think Ten, we see things differently and have a unique vision for what a media company can be” explains Hamilton. “We’ve seen firsthand the power and impact that visual storytelling can have; and understand that film making as well as other media can be both entertaining and purposeful.”

The Think Ten Media Group’s film slate also includes a documentary film titled: Underdogs: The Story of a Successful Public School. This film is currently in post-production. Underdogs tackles the timely issue of public education, particularly low-income public schools from the perspective of a successful public school. The film highlights the success of Dr. J. Michael McGrath’s Elementary School; which is a low-income school with large numbers of students who are English Language Learners.

Finally, Hamilton is currently in Pre-Production on Seekers. This is another narrative feature-length film which follows four kids on the adventure of a lifetime. This journey takes the kids across the country in an effort to reunite one of the boys with his mother, who was deported after a routine traffic stop. Through Smuggled, Hamilton caught the eye of veteran Producer Jonathan Sanger (Mission Impossible II, Vanilla Sky, The Elephant Man, among many other films) who is on board as an Executive Producer for Seekers.

For more information about the work of Think Ten Media Group and/or its Digital Arts Education Program entitled Generation Arts. Please visit www.thinktenmediagroup.com or email Jennifer Fischer, company Co-Founder at Jennifer@thinktenmediagroup.com. You can also view the trailer for Hamilton’s latest award-winning film, Smuggled, or purchase a copy at www.getsmuggled.com.

To see many of the youths film projects from Thnk Ten Media Group/Digital Arts Education Program click here: http://www.youtube.com/feed/UCJgziXsM4dAPkgQbW3TCcUQ

HamiltonwithLAsBestStudents

Joshua N. Melendez

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