Annette Haywood-Carter, Idyllwild Arts chair of the Department of Film and Digital Media, seen here on the set of her 2013 feature film “Savannah.” Haywood-Carter directed, co-wrote and co-produced the indie film. At left is “Savannah” co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor nominee for “12 Years a Slave”) and at right, Jim Caviezel.
Photo courtesy Annette Haywood-Carter

Hollywood film professional and chair of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Film and Digital Media Department Annette Haywood-Carter is the next speaker at the IAA “Spotlight on Leadership” Speaker Series.

As part of the academy’s outreach to the community and its desire to build understanding and bridges between town and gown, the series will focus on both the academic and arts programs.

Sponsored by the Associates of Idyllwild Arts, the spring series is designed to acquaint community members with IA educators, programs, calendars of performances and exhibits in the various departments, and to discover volunteer opportunities.

Best known for her breakout directorial debut movie “Foxfire,” Haywood-Carter has brought current and cutting-edge industry experience, as well as vital Hollywood connections, to her position as Film and Digital Media chair.

As script supervisor for many A-list Hollywood directors, as well as writer/director/producer on her own projects, Haywood-Carter has used her knowledge of how the television and film industries have evolved over the last 20 years, and her current connections with major studios, producers and directors, to build a pipeline to Hollywood. “Creating a pipeline of this sort is difficult to do if you are not an industry insider. We can use this direct industry access as a way to attract the best students and market our program,” she said.

Haywood-Carter is passionate about using her professional experience to educate IAA film students in how the industry works and how to navigate it as a beginning professional. In her nearly two years at IAA, Haywood-Carter has leveraged her Hollywood connections, academic and professional experience to build a state-of-the-art program for her film and digital media students. “The benefit Idyllwild Arts has as a teaching institution is that we’re only two hours from Hollywood, where the equipment, techniques and working knowledge of industry professionals are the top of the game. Film technology is changing so quickly that it must be taught by those who are the most current. Film professionals tend to be enormously generous and excited to share whatever they know, whatever toys they have, with students.”

Haywood-Carter will talk about the Film and Digital Media program at IAA, how it is evolving and the results it has been producing. At the January 2017 Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, two IAA productions won major awards: “Standpoint” by IAA 2016 graduate Erik Hirschhorn won Best Short Film, in competition with over 50 indie professionals. Current student Shirley Sui won Best Student Film for “Please.” Both films are now making the festival rounds.

Haywood-Carter’s talk, at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, is free to the public and will be held at Nelson Dining Hall on the Idyllwild Arts campus.