Alumni Spotlight: Mario J. Novoa

Mario graduated in 2000, and got his degree in Film, with an emphasis on production and editing. Mario’s interest in film came from being able to tell stories and to capture the audience’s imagination and take them on a trip. During his time at LAFS, Mario was able to screen his films for the first time, and got hooked on the audience’s reaction.

“I think back at the validation and encouragement from my time at LAFS and how the experience kept me wanting to do more. The spark and inspiration for filmmaking took shape at LAFS; it really became clearer and realistic.”

Mario was introduced to The Los Angeles Film School while part of Project Involve, where he was mentored by director Miguel Arteta. Confidence was one of the challenges that Mario faced. He also was challenged by his writing; he always wanted to make sure that the story made sense to his crew and his audience.

“As time went on, every project gave me confidence to move forward.”

Inspiration to overcome these challenges came in the form of honest feedback from his instructors.

“Teachers have a knack for giving you information, but inspiring you to move forward can make your challenges almost disappear.”

Mario’s work spans over 13 years.

“My work as a producer and editor has lead me to work for a number of studios, as well and my own endeavors.”

He has worked on several features, including a documentary he has recently worked on called “L.A. A Queer History”, and is also developing a horror film to be shot in Central America next year. In total, Mario has about 10 productions in the works, all in various stages of development. Along with that, Mario also keeps busy as the President of the Alumni Association here at the LA Film School. He works with Joe Byron and other alums to put together monthly industry mixers. LAFS played a big role in Mario’s career,

“…I wouldn’t have gone as far as I have. The personal and business relationships that came out my experience at LAFS are a treasure. I relied on industry knowledge from those relationships that kept me in the loop and sort of guided me through my career. I can’t say enough for my education at LAFS, because I learned more than I thought I would. LAFS was where my passion for film and education took flight into a professional career.”

He advises students to keep focused on the goal.

“Develop healthy relationships, celebrate your successes, and always keep creating. If being involved in the entertainment industry means anything to you, then by all means keep focused. Ask people what you can do to help them, and learn from the experience because it will help you tremendously in your development as an artist, business person or both.”

Congratulations Mario! We are so proud of you!