Photo caption: President of Ringling College of Art and Design Dr. Larry R. Thompson, with scholarship recipients (L-R) Gospel Nwachukwu, Will Mauricette, and Keishen Lloyd.
At an awards ceremony at New College’s Bayfront on January 28, 2022, three remarkable young filmmakers were recognized and rewarded for their impressive work.
To support the next generation of cinematic storytellers, the annual Visions of the Black Experience Film Festival is introduced this year, “Emerging Filmmaker Scholarships” to its programming.
These scholarships are made possible by the collaborative effort of the Sarasota Film Festival, the Boxser Diversity Initiative, New College of Florida, the Multicultural Health Institute, Manasota ASALH, as well as by the generosity of the Community Foundation of Sarasota.
The third-annual Visions series ran from November 12 to 21, 2021, and included both in-person and online screenings and community events illuminating the historical, social, and cultural aspects of Black life. There were more than 40 feature and short narrative and documentary films showcased—focusing on themes such as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growth of Black music.
Adding the scholarships is important to the series organizers, who hope the awards will help the students in advancing their film careers—from buying equipment to making new short films.
Two out of the three scholarship recipients were from Ringling College of Art and Design, and one recipient was from State College of Florida:
- Keishen Lloyd, a 2018 graduate of Ringling College, whose short film, Color of Love, is about an interracial relationship.
- Will Mauricette, a Ringling College student and the director of Monopoly Money, a crime thriller about two friends trying to bring in money to provide for their families.
- Gospel Nwachukwu, a student at State College of Florida, who created a short psychological horror film entitled Free.
President of Ringling College Dr. Larry Thompson was at the event to speak and congratulate the recipients. Dr. Thompson said he was honored to be at the ceremony in the company of such talented, young filmmakers who are bringing to light such important topics and stories, elevating and celebrating the Black community in our country, and around the world.
“At Ringling College, we believe that the art of storytelling, in all different forms, is a powerful medium to convey important narratives, and is a tool that can help us learn from our histories,” said Dr. Thompson, during his remarks. “We also believe, wholeheartedly, that art and creativity can only exist and thrive through diversity, equity, and inclusion of people, cultures, and experiences.”
Congratulations to these talented and aspiring filmmakers!
For more information about Visions of the Black Experience, check out the website.