Arts & Letters student Cecilia Mejia Morales, who the filmmaking community knows as Cecilia MeMor, paves the way as the first Television, Film and Media Studies intern to land a full-time position at the International Documentary Association. For over 35 years IDA has been a leader in supporting nonfiction filmmaking and filmmakers through education, funding, advocacy and through their various public programs and events.
Arriving to the country 9 years ago from El Salvador, Cecilia is committed to creating a legacy in honor of her parents after being separated from them at a very young age during the civil war of El Salvador. MeMor turns her experiences, good or bad, into stories that inspire perseverance and encourage excellence.
“Art has always been my salvation. My writing and fantastical storytelling started at seven years old when I created my first characters and superheroes,” said Cecilia.
During the summer, Cecilia had the opportunity to intern with IDA through the LA County Arts Internship Program. She credits her positive attitude, teamwork approach, and mentor guidance from Mark Ridley-Thomas as keys to her success in moving into a full-time position after the internship concluded.
“Seeking out internship programs and mentors to support you in realizing your goals is important,” says Cecilia when asked what advice she would offer students interested in landing an internship that could lead to a job.
Today, majoring in Film and Television Production and minoring in Theatre, Cecilia attends evening classes at Cal State LA and during the day she works directly with Emmy award-winner and Executive Director of IDA, Simon Kilmurry, by assisting in overseeing daily operations.
"Cecilia is a true inspiration for all of our students! She took the step to apply for an internship through a highly competitive program and succeeded,” said Professor Bridget Murnane, who posted the internship opportunity on the TVFM/TVFT Student Media Internship website.
When asked what her wildest dream for the future was, Cecilia responded, “well, since you ask, to be the first female Salvadoran American cinematographer to win an Oscar”.
By Kathleen Sanchez | Cal State LA College of Arts and Letters News Service