It was the cult classic film Clerks that launched Kevin Smith's career and now the filmmaker is giving back to the institution that he credits with making the iconic film a reality.
Smith announced last week that the Vancouver Film School is offering up to $1 million in scholarship opportunities bearing his name. The scholarships are for three of the school’s programs which happen to fit in with various aspects of Smith's career, Acting, Writing for Film, Television and Games as well as Filmmaking.
CLERKS could never have happened without the time I spent at the @vfs. So I’m proud and delighted to have an acting scholarship named after non-acting me! It’s open to students from around the world - so start the journey toward YOUR first feature by applying today! //t.co/1PKowbXdeF— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) October 4, 2018
According to the official press release from Vancouver Film School, Smith isn't just an honorary part of the scholarships, either. Smith will work with the school to award each scholarship. Each applicant's creative submission in the application process will be reviewed personally by Smith and he will select and notify the final scholarship winners as well.
The scholarships include not just a full-tuition scholarship for each program, but several other partial scholarships in varying amounts between $1000 and $10,000 for other successful candidates. According to the press release, Smith's "inspiration work in independent film make him an obvious choice as a steward for these new scholarships" which seek to give creative talent that might not otherwise have the opportunity to come to the school.
For Smith, it's kind of a full circle moment. The filmmaker attended Vancouver Film School where he met Scott Mosier and Dave Klein, both of whom have since been longtime collaborators of his and Smith credits his time at the school for being why Clerks was ever made. Smith dropped out of the school just four months into the eight-month program but made a deal with Mosier before leaving that they would both write a script and whoever finished last had to help the other make their movie.
Mosier went on to not only appear in Clerks but served as producer and co-editor while Klein served as cinematographer. Now, nearly 24 years after the film's release, the film has achieved cult classic status and is cited by many as being the inspiration for their own careers in film and entertainment. Smith was given an honorary degree from the school in 2005.
This isn't the first time that Smith has teamed up with the Vancouver Film School to give back, either. Earlier this year when Vancouver's Rio Theatre was in danger of being lost to developers, both Smith and Vancouver Film School pledged their support for the theater. Smith was even scheduled to do two fundraising shows at the theater in March, commitments he honored despite his near-fatal heart attack in February.
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