The 2020 OLA Film Festival Winners and Finalists

Winners

OLA Film Festival Committee Award Winner: Latasha Kennedy - One Last Goodbye

Latasha Kennedy is a screenwriter, actress, producer, and filmmaker. Recent credits include For My Man (TV ONE), I Dated a Psycho (Investigation Discovery), and Nightmare Next Door (Investigation Discovery).  Latasha has also been afforded the opportunity to sing for two U.S. Presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, for special events including: Kennedy Center Honors (CBS), Christmas in Washington (TNT), and We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration (HBO).

 

Latasha’s Film: One Last Goodbye
Rocked by a devastating loss and a pending eviction from the home he shared with his wife, a man struggles to cope and “move forward” despite his sister’s best efforts to help him.

People's Choice Award Winner:

Rahima Rice - Making and Breaking

Rahima was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her most recent work includes the web series, Room 513, the one-act play, The Eight -which premiered at the 2018 Anacostia Playhouse Visions/Revisions New Works Festival, and the soon to be released short film Making & Breaking. Rahima holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media from the University of the District of Columbia, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for the Stage & Screen from Lesley University.

Rahima's Film - Making & Breaking
Making & Breaking is a short film about the beginning and end of a relationship. A young grad student falls for the man of her dreams, but almost loses herself in the process.

Finalists

Finalist:

Samuel Nkwume - The Decision

Samuel is a storyteller who is also a qualified accountant with relevant experience of working in the entertainment industry. He is skilled in Feature Films, Short Films, Commercials, Budgeting, Post Production, Entertainment, Accounting, Auditing and Taxation.

Samuel’s Film - The Decision
A story about a young bipolar man who must overcome his dysfunctional family in order to uncover the truth about his brother's recent suicide. In this film Tom, the bipolar chap goes on a journey to unravel the mystery of what has been termed as suicide. Tom has decided to prove to his mom, family and rest of the world that the gruesome death of his brother was caused by his neighbour Arthur.

Finalist:

Tristan Taylor - Foxes

Tristan Taylor, is a film director from Webster Groves, MO. His voice in film comes from a need to tell stories based on personal life experiences that tackle the idea of masculinity in the black community. His passion for art and film comes from his families artistic background, a grandfather who raised him with photography, and a mother who designed her own clothes. After finding he was dealing with depression, he decided to pursue a career in film as a way to express his feelings in a visual way to help others who's stories may resemble his."

 

Tristan’s Film - Foxes
Foxes is a coming of age story about two African American men discussing the taboo topic of depression and even suicide.

Finalist:

Seungwon Gio Park - ALEITA

Seungwon Gio Park is a film director and production designer based in New York City. His artistic objective is to craft challenging, diverse narratives set in both the U.S and Korea. All of Seungwon's work is framed by his refined aesthetic style and acute attention to detail. Originally from South Korea, he holds a bachelor's degree in Technical Theater and Design from Brooklyn College. Most recently he earned a MPS in film directing from the School of Visual Arts. His production design work includes SUNNYSIDE(Best Fiction, Cannes Short Film Corner), Picnic (Manhattan Film Festival, Brooklyn Short Film Festival, Korea-American Film Festival), and directed a short film "GIFT" in 2018.

Seungwon’s Film - ALEITA
"ALEITA" deals with a young talented, ambitious dancer's struggle with the decision to head back home to comfort her terminally ill mother who will pass in a few days, or stay in NY and audition for the role she's dreamt about all her life.

Finalist:

Giorgio Citarella - ALEITA

Giorgio is an American University Film Student who was recognized in Who’s Who in Latino America. He is an inspiring film maker who enjoys the art of telling stories about through mini documentaries.

 

Giorgio’s Film - Willie’s Way
After a life-altering stroke, Willie Leftwich uses pottery to create a symbol of hope for himself and other stroke victims.

Finalist:

Rico Shay - Slave 2

Rico Shay is an independent film writer, director, and producer. He has a strong passion for acting but developed one for writing and directing when he realized the potential he had with it. He wrote his first film in the spring of 2018 and established So Visionaire Films later that summer. He has a close relationship with God and patiently perseveres towards what he wants to achieve. Rico has a lot of goals that deal with entertainment, economics, and social well-being. The short film Slave 2 was inspired by artist Kevin "Wak" Williams' painting "Queen".

 

Rico’s Film: Slave 2
Ancestors from the past and lineage of the present are compared to what they are enslaved to mentally. Many ancestors from the past were enslaved. They were not free. Compared to today, are their lineage presently enslaved?

Finalist:

Brandon Hairston - Bad Web Series

Brandon Hairston is a web content creator from the Washington, D.C. Metro area. His first project, "D.C. Yuppies," received several awards. He has now moved onto the comedic one-of-a-kind series "Bad Web Series", an overacted and underproduced parody of the web series world that makes fun of itself. Brandon lives by the quote, "Chase your dreams, not your competition."

 

Brandon’s Film - Bad Web Series
"Bad Web Series" is an innovative series that combines exaggerated storylines with familiar production faux pas commonly experienced by the web series community.

Finalist:

Praheme Praphet  -  STUCK

PRAHEME is a storyteller from Richmond, Virginia who holds a BA in Film Production from Howard University and an MFA in Film Production from Florida State University. Praheme is the CEO of the independent studio Praphetic Praductions and i.a.m.W.E. Film Collective, which creates unique and original content like the award winning film Troop 491: the Adventures of the Muddy Lions and Stuck. Praheme resides in Los Angeles and has three feature scripts in development. His most recent work was as Locations Producer for Netflix’s Burning Sands.

Praheme’s Film - STUCK
STUCK is a romantic comedy that follows two strangers (Ebony and Dre) who become physically wedged in the act of a “one-night stand”. Their only path to separation is to be vulnerable and share a secret with one another.

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