Former Film Students Making Waves in Industry

(Bradenton, Fla., Feb. 6, 2008) -- Three former Manatee Community College (MCC) film students are doing innovative work that is garnering national attention.

Ron VanAlkemade directed the nationally released "What Would Jesus Buy?"

It is a serious docu-comedy about the commercialization of Christmas produced by Morgan Spurlock, who also produced "Super Size Me." 

VanAlkemade has worked as a cinematographer and directed two other films. More information about "What Would Jesus Buy?" is available at

Ben Piety, who graduated from MCC and the University of Central Florida, recently debuted one of his short films at the Sundance Film Festival. Currently a Los Angeles resident, Piety's films have been shown at more than 40 film festivals worldwide and won many prizes. Find out more about Piety's recent "Sunlit Shadows," at

In January, the Sarasota Film Society sponsored a screening at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas of "Palmetto," a Webisode directed and created for the Internet by former MCC student Christopher Morgan. Morgan got feedback from current MCC students in a classroom screening of the pilot episode. As one of three executive producers of Morgan Films Entertainment LLC., Morgan also produces commercials, corporate videos, movie trailers and short films.

Del Jacobs, MCC's multimedia and film program manager, calls what Morgan is doing "cutting edge media delivery." Find out more at

In 2006, MCC was one of 25 two-year colleges chosen by national MovieMaker  magazine as being among "the world's best film schools."

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