Jaron Gandelman '11
Film Festival Project Coordinator
By Nicole Sweeney / 2012-05-01
Jaron Gandelman’s passion for film ignited before he arrived in Paris, but AUP played a pivotal role in kindling his dedication and paving the road ahead. His international background reads like the profile that makes AUP students especially unique: born in Aruba, studied in Paris, living in New York City with work in Cape Town and London to boot. A recent alum who completed the Master of Arts in Global Communications in January 2011, Jaron is already establishing himself in a niche he first honed in Paris.
“All of AUP’s characteristics that students speak of – the sense of community, access to a vast arts and culture scene, the ultimate cosmopolitan experience – confirmed many of my interests and helped me define my professional goals.”
Jaron first ventured into the art museum world that would later surreptitiously lead him to film during his undergraduate years in Boston. He was drawn in while carrying out research for a feature article on the Museum of Bad Art, a local gallery space in a suburban community theater for his university’s newspaper. The piece profiled the museum’s curator, a Boston man who made balloon hats at children’s birthday parties.
“Four years – and many balloon hats – later, I enrolled at AUP and moved to Paris, an experience that would change my life and career.” After completing the coursework for the Master of Arts in Global Communications, Jaron departed for New York to intern at The Jewish Museum. He spent his internship planning the 19th annual Jewish Film Festival at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. During his time at the museum, he came across a temporary video art installation and was so intrigued that it later became the focus of his thesis.
He returned to Paris to defend that thesis and get further work experience in film, including time spent working for the Cannes Film Market. A year later, he decided to return to New York in search of a job. “I reconnected with the museum, and was told there was an opening for film festival coordinator,” he says. Between his internship and the research he conducted, his experience ultimately won him the job offer.
Jaron has worked as Curatorial Assistant for Media since April of 2011. In addition to his primary role as project coordinator for the New York Jewish Film Festival, Jaron also assists with curating audiovisual exhibitions, and other media-related exhibitions, including a 3-D exhibition that explored a man’s memory of his Jewish home in 1930s Germany.
The 21st annual film festival took place in January and was an overall success, with a broad selection of international films and record attendance. Jaron’s zest for learning has continued into his working life, “The museum’s collaboration with Lincoln Center and with other New York City cultural institutions has provided me with a great introduction to the city’s arts and culture industry.”
Jaron is also involved in a new up-and-coming film festival in Aruba, which aims to support the development of Caribbean and Latin American cinema. This year, he and a NYU professor of film will coordinate a student film lab, an important component to the festival that aims to introduce locals to filmmaking and establish the industry locally. Located in the country of his birth and enabling him to further his work in the world of film and culture, it is a project that holds special value to Jaron.
And much of that enthusiasm started in Paris. As Jaron notes, “I owe much of my passion for the arts to my experience at AUP – to its cosmopolitan environment, to the genuine interest and support that professors provide to students, and to its location in a worldwide hub for arts and culture.”