Valencia College to Hold Tribute for Florida Film Great Ralph Clemente

ORLANDO – Valencia College will celebrate the life of the late Ralph Clemente on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. on the college’s East Campus.

Clemente, who created the college’s nationally acclaimed film program, died in April, less than a month after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

On Sunday, Clemente’s colleagues, former students and friends with gather with family members for a tribute to Clemente at Valencia’s Performing Arts Center.

Among those speaking at the memorial will be Clemente’s family members, Valencia College president Sandy Shugart, East Campus president Stacey Johnson and former Florida state film commissioner Paul Sirmons.

Emmy-winning director David Nutter (known for his work in “The Game of Thrones,” “Band of Brothers” and “X Files”) will send a video tribute to Clemente, who was his professor and mentor at the University of Miami.

A member of the Directors Guild of America, Clemente began teaching filmmaking at the University of Miami in 1985. In 1988, he established the film production technology program at Valencia College – a program that Steven Spielberg hailed as one of the finest in the nation. In 2011, Valencia’s film program was cited among the nation’s “super six” of cinema education by International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) Magazine.

Clemente was determined to give Valencia students the opportunity to work with real industry professionals, both in front of and behind the camera and brought many celebrities to campus for his films, including veteran Hollywood directors Robert Wise (“West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music”), George Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”), Jonathan Krane (“Phenomenon” and “Michael”) and Peter Spirer (“Blood Ties: The Life and Times of Sally Mann”). During his 27 years at Valencia, Clemente’s students collaborated on 47 feature films.

A reception with light refreshments will be held in the Building 3 atrium following the memorial program.