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Published: February 02, 2023

Internship With Film Tampa Bay Is Student’s Latest Passion Project

Denis Vuko '24 has always been passionate about film and all of its intricacies: how they’re made and the behind-the-scenes of it all.

	Internship With Film Tampa Bay is student’s latest passion project Denis Vuko on the set of his short film “Challenge.” Photo courtesy of Denis Vuko

When he was growing up in Avranches, France, watching movies and reading in English helped him to begin to learn the language when he was just 5 years old.

Fast forward to today and Vuko is a film and media arts major interning with Film Tampa Bay, the film commission for Tampa and Hillsborough County. Film Tampa Bay highlights local crew members and partners through a monthly video series. They all serve as a one-stop permitting office, assisting crews with logistics and locations.

Vuko has an affinity for producing dramas and sports movies, with the occasional comedy in relation to sports or music, he said.

“I watch everything 一 the more I watch, the more I learn and get inspired,” he said.

Last year, he interned with The Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network, shooting film, editing and screenwriting. Between the internship and his networking, he heard about the opportunity to intern at Film Tampa Bay and decided to apply.

During the course of the internship, he will be editing their spotlight videos, which detail what’s happening in the film industry in Tampa Bay and editing podcast episodes. He is also helping to prepare for the Gasparilla International Film Festival, which takes place in March and includes screening and sharing reviews of submitted films. Vuko will also assist with on-location scouting and showing locations.

Vuko always wanted to study in the United States and has family in Florida, so when it came time for college, he decided to tour multiple schools in the state, exploring the film programs. He liked The University of Tampa the most, so when he got his acceptance letter, he committed right away, he said.

“All film classes have been so beneficial because you learn every aspect of the film industry,” he said.

Currently, Vuko is wrapping up a short film called “Challenge” for his narrative filmmaking class.

The film is about a girl from South America, and it details her first days in the United States, he said. It is a mix of his story and that of his friend, both of whom are international students and came to the U.S. to pursue their passions.

Vuko said he hopes to stay in the U.S. after graduation because it’s where he believes the film industry is the best. Ultimately, he hopes to one day become a writer and director for major motion pictures.

He advises students to follow their dreams, as he did.

“Be open,” he said. “Don’t be scared to show what you like and want to do. Go toward people and show them what you love and who you are. It’s all about real relationships.”

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