Speaker Series Focuses on Georgia’s Growing Film and Television Industry


COLUMBUS, Ga. — Georgia Film Academy Executive Director Jeffrey Stepakoff will provide an inside look at Georgia’s $6 billion film and television industry during Columbus State University’s Department of Communication Speaker Series Tuesday, March 22.

An accomplished writer and producer, Stepakoff will discuss his experiences in Hollywood, the film and television industry’s economic impact on Columbus and the region, and his work with the Georgia Film Academy, a new training program designed to meet a growing demand for skilled workers in the industry.

“We are excited to bring Jeff Stepakoff to our speaker series,” said Danna Gibson, chair of the Department of Communication. “This is our fourth program in the series, and the topic is especially timely with the launch of our new film certificate program in January.”

The Georgia Film Academy is a two-course certificate program offered through CSU’s Department of Communication in collaboration with the Springer Opera House. It was one of the first programs offered in the University System of Georgia.

Forty-eight students enrolled in the certificate program’s first course, Gibson added. The first course includes classroom instruction and hands-on training using industry-standard equipment. The second course is a semester on the set of a professional production.

Stepakoff, an Atlanta native, has 28 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He has written or delivered stories for 37 television episodes, 15 series and has been a writer and/or writer-producer on primetime or first-run cable staffs. Stepakoff earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and his master’s in playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Department of Communication Speaker Series began in September 2014 with an appearance by Monica Kaufman, former anchor at WSB-TV in Atlanta. The second program featured CNN Anchor and Correspondent Martin Savidge, and last year’s program featured a panel discussion with business and media leaders focusing on digital media.

This year’s program begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 in Legacy Hall at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway.

The series brings topics of interest and leading public relations and media professionals to Columbus to share their knowledge and experiences with students and the community. Individual and corporate sponsorships enable the Department of Communication to offer the programs free of charge.

For more information about the speaker series, visit www.ColumbusState.edu/COMM or call 706-507-8601.