PAQUITA HUGHES – New York Film Academy Filmmaking Student

My name is Paquita Hughes and I was born inPuerto Rico and raised in Mississippi.

I was born in Puerto Rico because my mother wasin the Navy and I eventually followed in her footsteps.

I served in the Navy for abouteight years and within those eight years I did multiple jobs, but my main job was airtraffic control, and it was one of the most stressful jobs in the Navy actually.

And it'snot very common for women to really hold that position but I did it and I excelled, andbecause I excelled I figured "Hey, you know maybe I can try some other goals.

" I had an epiphany when I was in the Navy andI thought to myself if I could succeed at serving my country during a time of war, Icould succeed at following my dreams at attending film school, so I decided to get out and studyfilm and I just graduated.

My experience with the New York Film Academy was very hands-on,it was intensive but I learned to collaborate with different types of individuals withindifferent roles in the industry.

I went to the one-year Filmmaking program last yearand I graduated this past June.

I'm a veteran too–8-year Veteran–I was in the Navy.

AirForce! Awesome! Where were you based? Hawaii, Sicily, Diego Garcia, San Diego.

I was anair traffic controller, does anybody know what that is? Well, I'm in a tower—a controltower—or in a radar station where I talk to pilots, so as an enlisted person I wasable to tell officers what to do.

My 1-year thesis film is called "California Dreaming"and it's about a girl who runs away to follow her dreams, and the message I'm conveyingis that you should strive to follow your dreams no matter the odds stacked against you.

Onebenefit of being a veteran in the film industry is now that I'm very connected toa lot of great organizations, one being the VFT, which is Veterans in Film & Television.

It's a network of all types of veterans from a military consultant or a producer, directoror actor.

Good evening, my name is Paquita Hughes, I was in the Navy for eight years,I was an air traffic controller, but now I'm a director and photographer.

I'm now enrolledin the one year Photography program at the New York Film Academy and it's really beengreat so far.

It's a huge passion of mine, I'm excited to be exploring it.

My futuregoals as a filmmaker and photographer is to really just grow and learn, to really developa style, and I'm really just anxious to work with a lot of great people.

I'm looking formentors.