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Townsend Now Artist-in-Residence

ATLANTA, GA (May 5, 2006)
Georgia State University's Digital Arts Entertainment Lab (DAEL) is providing students the opportunity to work hands-on with an entertainment industry insider. Robert Townsend, Hollywood film and television producer, director and actor, is serving as Artist in Residence, funded by the Georgia Research Alliance's Venture Fellows program.

DAEL director Kay Beck says Townsend is advising the lab on current trends, developments and opportunities in the ever-changing global entertainment industry.

"Robert has been a great contributor to our efforts at Georgia State," Beck says. "We value his advice, his artistic judgment and his interest in working with young people."

Georgia Film Project

Townsend, with almost 100 credits in his career as an actor, writer, director or producer in film and television, wants to develop a Georgia-based film project. The production will showcase Georgia talent and locations, and establish a new model for creating content.

"There is no need for a state with such diverse locations, crew depth, international transportation, acting talent, sound stages, visual effects and post-production facilities to depend on film projects coming from outside Georgia," Townsend says. "Of all the states in the nation, Georgia is the logical place for a truly indigenous industry to grow and flourish."

Georgia-based production resources such as Riverwood Studios have joined Townsend's efforts through special rates and in-kind investment in Georgia productions.

"We're proud to partner in the efforts of Mr. Townsend and others to achieve critical mass with Georgia's film industry," says Scott Tigchelaar, Riverwood Studios president.

Georgia State students benefit from Townsend's insider knowledge and connections, not to mention his input on their projects and aspirations.

"Robert is awesome; he seems to respect our work and encourages us to keep at it, even though it is a competitive industry," says film/video student Stacy Slovik.

Townsend's credits include starring alongside Denzel Washington in A Soldier's Story, writing, directing and starring in the critically acclaimed independent film, Hollywood Shuffle, and directing the likes of Eddie Murphy and Academy Award winners Halle Berry, Martin Landau and Louis Gossett Jr. in a variety of films.

At the Digital Arts Entertainment Lab, graduate students, faculty, industry professionals, visiting artists, producers and researchers work together to explore the potential of digital content origination and distribution.

For more information, visit the DAEL website.