Nia Williams ’23: Filmmaking Course at NYU Tisch

Summer 2021

About the Project

I received funding to participate in a remote film intensive at NYU Tisch titled “Sight and Sound: Filmmaking.” My professor was actor-writer-director Vondie Curtis-Hall, and our class met every weekday for three and a half hours for six weeks. The class was two-pronged, as it focused on building technique and artistic style. We had seven film projects in total and had around 3-4 days to create each project from conception to screening. Our first three projects were silent and black and white films, while the latter four were with color and sound, however, we were not allowed to use sync-sound during class. All in all, I grew tremendously throughout this program and learned more about my voice as an artist. I also made meaningful connections with my professor, TA, and fellow classmates and look forward to finally meeting them in person this fall during Duke in New York!

Reflecting on Arts Amidst COVID-19

Without support from Benenson, I would not have been able to take this class, which has helped me grow in innumerable ways. Prior to this course, I had very little experience in directing films. However, due to the challenging and fast-paced nature of the class, I was forced to learn and grow quickly as a writer, cinematographer, editor, and most importantly, director. I am now much more confident in my filmmaking abilities and am energized to learn even more. Thus, I am extremely grateful to have been given support by the Benenson Award.