Three winners of the new Visions of the Black Experience “Emerging Filmmaker” competition were honored at New College of Florida with scholarships for their creative films.
The $1,500 first prize scholarship was awarded to Will Mauricette, a Ringling College student and the director of “Monopoly Money,” a crime thriller about a pair of friends working to earn more money for their families.
The Visions Film series, the organization that launched the contest, is a collaborative effort created between the Sarasota Film Festival, Boxser Diversity Initiative, New College of Florida, the Multicultural Health Institute, and the Manasota Association for the Study of African American Life and History . The organizations, along with the Community Foundation of Sarasota, assisted with raising the funds for the inaugural winners.
“These young people need the support, whether it’s what they can put their resume or the scholarships,” said Boxser Initiative President Dan Boxser. “The support from partners and the contest is fantastic.”
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Gospel Nwachukwu, State College of Florida student filmmaker, took home the third place for his short psychological horror film entitled “Free.”
Keishen Lloyd, a graduate of Ringling College, was awarded the second-place scholarship for his short film about an interracial relationship, “Color of Love.”
The festival was well-received, with more than two dozen entries, said Sarasota Film Festival Managing Director Paul Ratner.
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Ratner is hopeful the contest will be expanded next year to include high school filmmakers and a wider genre of films by young directors.
Samantha Gholar Weires covers news for the Herald-Tribune and USA TODAY Network. Connect with her at email@example.com or on Twitter: @samanthagweires