James Franco to teach film course in MAC

    James Franco poses for a photo with journalism teacher Esther Wojcicki at Paly in October. Franco visited the campus to paint two murals. “He [Franco] is very committed to Palo Alto High and to education,” Wojcicki said. Photo by Adele Bloch

    Renowned actor, director, filmmaker and Palo Alto High School alumnus James Franco and journalism teacher Esther Wojcicki will teach an eight-part film class for high school students, according to posts on Franco’s social media accounts on Sept. 4.

    Franco, a Paly graduate of 1996, urged students through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to sign up for his class.

    Screen shot 2015-09-06 at 5.44.31 PM

    James Franco announced via social media his intention of teaching a film class for high school students. Screenshot by Adrienne Kwok.

    The workshop is set to take place starting on Sept. 13. 24 students will work in groups of three to ultimately produce their own film, which may be screened at a film festival, according to the application page.

    While Franco’s class will be taught at Paly, students will not receive credit for signing up.

    “He [Franco] is a professional in the industry and has directed some notable films,” senior Sophia Anderson said. “It [being a part of the class] would be a beneficial experience.”

    According to Wojcicki, Franco has taught several other film classes in the past.

    “He has taught this class at the University of California Los Angeles and New York University for a few years and it [the class] has been very popular and highly successful,” Wojcicki said. “I definitely think he is qualified to teach a class at Paly.”

    The other Franco brothers may also be involved with the class.

    “Tom Franco will also be involved, and Dave may also be there for a few of the workshops,” Wojcicki said. “It isn’t clear yet.”

    While Franco has never taught at Paly before, he is no stranger to Paly campus. Last year, Franco celebrated the opening of the Media Arts Center at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Two months later, he created 14 paintings and two murals for the Paly campus, which can still be seen in the library, in the MAC and on the Student Center.

    Students who are interested in participating in Franco’s film workshop will need to complete an application with basic information, a one-minute video introducing themselves and a 200-word essay explaining why they want to be in the class. Applications are due midnight of Sept. 10.

    “More information is hopefully to come,” junior Nadia Leinhos said. “I’m definitely going to keep track of this whole thing.”

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