Barnesville native Scott Votaw has been named the new executive director of the Georgia Film Academy (GFA). Votaw will replace Jeffrey Stepakoff who was founding executive director of GFA.
GFA is a collaborative effort of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. It was founded in 2018 to meet education and workforce needs for high demand careers in Georgia’s film and creative industries. It offers rigorous professional training for those seeking jobs in film and TV.
GFA offers three certificate programs and has training facilities at Trilith Studios in Fayetteville, OFS Studios in Norcross and Flat Rock Studios in Columbus. A facility at Athena Studios in Athens is in the works.
Almost 12,000 students have attended classes through GFA since its inception. “It is very far-reaching. We take it from middle school all the way to masters degrees in fine arts in film programs at our partner institutions,” Votaw said.
Votaw spent about 25 years working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. He started as a production assistant, sweeping floors and fetching coffee. He went on to work at Fox and Lucasfilm Ltd.
“I worked my way up from the bottom. It was a great experience and I think it gave me insight on how every facet of the industry works,” Votaw said.
Votaw, who was living in Thailand at the time of his appointment, is the son of Marsha Votaw and the late John Votaw of Barnesville. He spent several years as choir director at First United Methodist Church here and was the first administrator of the Lamar school system’s Fine Arts Center and helped design that facility.
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