Five recent graduates from Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television (SFTV) have been given access to opportunities for careers in the entertainment industry, as part of the school’s new Transition After Graduation Program, or TAG, according Teri Schwartz, the school’s dean.

Fully-funded by Sony Pictures Entertainment with the support of Sony Pictures Television president Steve Mosko, TAG is a one-year program in professional development designed to help graduates navigate the landscape of the entertainment business.

The five professionals, called Sony Fellows, are being mentored by some of the entertainment industry’s top talent, Schwartz said.

Each Sony Fellow will work closely with a mentor tailored to the participant’s career objectives, participate in monthly meetings to review professional development topics and goals, network and share their experiences with one another and receive strategies and support for participation at major entertainment festivals both in the United States and around the world.

The Transition After Graduation Program is the newest in a series of initiatives created by Schwartz to connect the School of Film and Television community to the entertainment and emerging media industries.

“Thanks to the vision and generosity of Steve Mosko and his colleagues at Sony Pictures Entertainment, we’ve been able to start our signature program designed with the belief that a premier film school should continue to nurture its students even after they’ve taken their last exam, or completed their thesis film,” Schwartz said.

“At SFTV, we are committed to developing the new stories and new storytellers with a strong, practical understanding of the professional landscape.

“With TAG, we’re able to give our outstanding graduates a crucial head start on realizing their ambitions.”

Mosko added, “Since launching the School of Film and Television three years ago, Dean Schwartz has consistently exhibited the passion, vision and creativity to produce the nation’s top film and television school.

“When she told us about her ideas for the TAG program, her enthusiasm was infectious and we knew this is something Sony had to support.”

Schwartz said TAG’s inaugural Sony Fellows will work with some of the respected and successful individuals and programs in the entertainment business:

– Lauren Carara, a recording arts graduate, is being mentored by Academy Award-winning post production re-recording mixer Bob Beemer, who recently completed the mix for Dreamgirls.

– Sal Cardoni, a screenwriting graduate, is currently being mentored by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Joel Cohen (Toy Story).

-Alfonso Estrada, a graduate of the School of Film and Television animation program, is now part of the Sony Animation Directors Program.

– Debbie Formoso is being mentored by Academy Award-nominated director of photography Wally Pfister (Batman Begins, The Prestige).

– Adam Burr, who won best director and best narrative film awards at the School of Film and Television Film’s “Outside the Frame” film festival, is being mentored by Rob Legato, Academy Award-winning special effects designer and director of Aviator, Titanic, Apollo 13 and The Departed.

The School of Film and Television is a hands-on program enabling the Sony Fellows to get the kind of access and exposure that typically takes years for entertainment industry professionals to experience, Schwartz said.

Along with the industry mentoring aspect of the program, the participants will get access to a major film market, be introduced to agents and managers, travel to major film festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, South by Southwest and Sundance, explore new marketing opportunities and begin implementing an outlined path for their career objectives, she said.

The TAG program began in September, with the start of the 2006-2007 academic year, and will continue through August of this year.