|Class of 2014|
“Documentaries became a lifeblood for me in high school,” Jonathan (JP) Keenan says.
Now a Documentary Studies and Production major at Ithaca College, Keenan says the highlight of this program is the ability to take different classes such as journalism, photography, cinema, screenwriting -- all within his required coursework.
“Not many programs have the latitude that really encourages diversity in your learning,” said Keenan. “ I was able to take multiple classes outside communications department as well because of the flexible coursework.”
For his Documentary Workshop class, Keenan produced Cornered, a 15-minute short film about a young boxer and his coach. The film follows the two characters as they explore the challenges of growing up in Baltimore and training for the Police Athletic League National Boxing Championships. This film won the Best Documentary at the East Coast Student Film Festival.
“It was once in a lifetime journey to learn outside of the classroom and be challenged further than I thought was possible,” said Keenan. “ It pushes you, makes you cry, takes away endless nights of sleep, and you come out with the best film you’ve ever produced.”
In addition, Keenan had several internships with different documentary companies in Washington, D.C. and New York City. He interned with Emmy Award-Winning alumni Jeremy Levine and Landon Von Soest at Transient Pictures last summer, and he also worked for Stone Soup Films which is a non-profit documentary company in Washington, D.C. in 2011.
When it comes to his career aspirations, Keenan will continue exploring and go in-depth with his passion in documentary. “I want to make documentaries that challenge or broaden the people that watch them,” says Keenan, “ I want to tell stories that inspire and expand their perceptions about the world. Whether it’s exposing an injustice or capturing an inspiring story, I want to be able to capture and share that experience with others.”