Highlight on a young Aruban producer in Hollywood PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:32
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Known to many of us, Joseph A. Cohen Henriquez also known as simply Jo Henriquez, was born in Oranjestad, Aruba on 19 May, 1988. At the age of 18, Jo finished VWO at Colegio Arubano as valedictorian (best geslaagde) and went on to the world renowned Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2006.

The Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at Tisch School of the Arts was established in 1967. This highly acclaimed school is ranked as one of the premier film programs in the world, continually producing industry professionals who remain at the forefront of the film industry.

Joseph has been fascinated by the entertainment industry ever since he was a young child crawling behind his first piano when he was only 3 years old. He has since performed on stage, behind and in front of the camera. As a child and teenager he has taken extensive classes in music, theatre and film at home and in the US. To earn his pocket money he worked for several local television studios as a teenager. He spent many of his summers at established schools such as Stagedoor Manor Summer Camp for Theatre and the New York Film Academy. Throughout his studies and side jobs he has worked on just about every job in the film industry from booming and gaffing, to camera, cinematographer and producing and directing.

After graduating with honors from Tisch Jo has constantly been on film sets working with many great film-makers and actors such as Jorem Lürsen (Alles is Familie), Alfre Woodard, Gbenga Akinnagbe and Christian Matsen amongst others. He has written many short films and has successfully produced and directed most of them.


Since the very beginning Jo has been actively involved in Art Rules Aruba and has developed and taught classes for the film program in his modest way of giving back to the Aruban community and help stimulate Aruba’s young film talent.

Some eight years after leaving his Island Jo is now well on his way of becoming a successful film Producer and Director in Hollywood.  In 2012 Jo was accepted into the very selective American Film Institute for his Masters Degree in Film Producing where he is again excelling and is producing his thesis film this year.

The American Film Institute (AFI) will speak for itself.  
AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work. Beside its paramount role in the American film industry AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its AFI Conservatory, which is recognized as one of (if not) the world's top film schools.
At the American Film Institute, Joseph is trained by Marie Cantin, who was Production Manager on films like COLLATERAL, DANTE’S PEAK & A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY. Joseph’s mentors also include Neil Canton who has produced the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies & Donn Cambern who has edited films from EASY RIDER to GHOSTBUSTERS II.
Jo is currently living in Los Angeles and New York, but he visits Aruba as often as he can.
The film, STARMAN, follows a motocross dare-devil who risks everything to gain back the glory of his youthful days. The film is Joseph’s biggest undertaking yet, involving big motorcycle stunts being coordinated by John Branagan, a Hollywood veteran who coordinated stunts for films like X-MEN, DIE HARD & MINORITY REPORT.
Joseph is the Producer, and along with his team has been fundraising to cover the budget of the film through social media! This is becoming a common trend in financing films in Hollywood. A big chunk of the support for STARMAN has actually come from Aruba to support the Aruban Producer. Each one of these supporters will be credited at the end of the film.
You can learn more about STARMAN and how to support the film at www.starmanfilm.com

Using the short film, students can be given the opportunity to showcase their talents to an international marketplace of film producers, studios, and industry executives. By submitting the ‘shorts’ to festivals around the world, the filmmakers hope to gain a better reputation in the entertainment industry, network and make contacts, and eventually make a rapid and smooth transition into the feature-length film production. All great filmmakers from Spielberg, Lucas, to Scorsese started their careers with the short film.
Numerous graduates and filmmakers worldwide have had great success with shorts and have even been recruited to turn their shorts into full feature length films.  A great example of this is the short film “Five feet high and Rising” by Peter Sollett (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist), which was made into the feature film “Raising Victor Vargas”. In addition, many prominent film and television companies such as the Independent Film Channel, Sundance Channel, etc. have been known to acquire short films to incorporate into their programming, which is great exposure for the filmmakers.
Jo needs our help to realize his dream and make his thesis movie. Any donation will do, if all of donate just $50 between all of us we will easily cover the cost of his movie in an instant. Please visit the web-site of Starman and let’s show the world that an Aruban can make it in Hollywood.
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