United States Congressional Black Caucus Awards Arts Scholarship to CCSU Film Student

Connecticut, August 2nd, 2020

Unapologetically, filmmaking and film education deals with human issues, characters and conditions.   It is a complicated process, requiring technical, aesthetic and directorial instruction, on topics students freely choose.

With an industry-endorsed curriculum and unprecedented student-achievements, last year, politics and university power plays engaged in an all-out assault on arts education, academic freedom and workforce collaboration.  While these actions illogically hurt our students and  diminished their programs. we will have much to say and film about this in the future.  

But fighting for student-excellence is the job and the sustainable achievements that quality education produces, is the objective.  Today, we are so pleased to announce another CCSU Film student milestone.  After completing her second Film class, Mya S. Gray has been awarded a prestigious UNITED STATES CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS SCHOLARSHIP – 20/21.    The scholarship is awarded to students who show “exemplarity potential or mastery of a visual art.” 

These are the outcomes we will continue to fight for.   They are achievable by all students, when proper processes, standards and qualified instructors are in-place. 

IN HER OWN WORDS – FILM STUDENT, MYA SAREE’ GRAY

From a short film created in only my second film class, I ended up with a scholarship, the beginning of my skill and an experience that changed my life forever.

While I was taking my first film class at CCSU, I became pregnant.   At that time, I also started getting hooked on filmmaking. I actually doubled up and produced two final projects in that first film class.   As my pregnancy continued in my second film class, we learned new cameras, techniques and broadened our story telling abilities.  It was challenging and I was pushed hard.   

As a new filmmaker, I believe life’s experiences can fuel the creative process. I decided to create a story about the intimacy between a couple approaching the birth of their first child.    I filmed and developed the same scenes twice a week for the entire 17-week semester.  I filmed right up until the week I gave birth.

I practiced character motivations, lighting and camera control while being regularly mentored on improvements in my filmmaking.   

In only two semesters, I developed an amazing result.  So much so, the film I created won a visual arts scholarship from the United States Congressional Black Caucus for Fall 2020-Spring 2021   The experience and film education changed my life.

Introduction by Professor Jeffrey Teitler

Blog by Mya S. Gray