June 2016, Volume 20, Number 3

Making Their Mark

Filmmaker’s Talents Reach New Heights at MDC

Carlos Andrés Cuervo, who recently completed an MDC Bachelor of Applied Science in Film, TV & Digital Production, is using his talents to make not only award-winning films, but also ones with a social conscience that then generate revenue to aid those in need.

After being flown to Philadelphia to accept a $20,000 grand prize in 2015 for his two-minute documentary, Without Walls, he donated 10 percent of his winnings to the subject of that film, Reforma XXI, a faith-based social-action church that helps the homeless in Miami.

More recently, Cuervo released the first episode of a web series about a group that is trying to stop sex trafficking in Miami. He also completed a project dealing with autistic children.

“I believe in telling stories about people doing something to make a difference,” said Cuervo, who credits Jessyca Pérez, a psychology professor at MDC’s Homestead Campus, with encouraging him when he nearly quit school due to the pressures of raising a family and commuting to classes at MDC’s School of Entertainment & Design Technology (SEDT) at North Campus, where he completed the bachelor’s degree.

Cuervo, who is originally from Bogotá, Colombia, ultimately wants to earn a master’s degree so he can teach in addition to making films.

Besides Pérez, Cuervo said he is grateful to two SEDT professors who served as his artistic mentors – Agustín González in his screenwriting course and Josh Ellis in cinematography. In addition to the advice he received, Cuervo said the opportunity to network at MDC was another huge help in his career.

“I thought I could do this on my own,” Cuervo said of teaching himself to be a filmmaker. “But you can never get the same experience as you can in college, where you are surrounded by like-minded students and professors.”

— WV

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