Nana Adwoa Frimpong
MFA, Film and Television Production '22
What inspired you to want to study the cinematic arts?
I was inspired to want to study the cinematic arts as an undergraduate student. I had recently switched majors, and decided to take a cinema themes and theories course purely out of interest. I had always loved watching films, but never considered making them myself. Taking that class was my first real opportunity to talk about films and consider the images I was watching. The minute I had the space to do that, I was hooked.
What scholarship award(s) did you receive directly from SCA?
I am the recipient of the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation Student Support Fund for Production Scholarship and the John Huston Scholarship for Directing.
What has been the impact of receiving a scholarship from SCA?
Receiving a scholarship from SCA has been a tremendous gift, and given me the ability to attend school. I am an international student, and affording school and living costs in Los Angeles is not an easy feat. With the help of these scholarships, I have been able to focus on cultivating my voice through my films, working on my craft, building relationships, and taking care of myself. Being the recipient of a scholarship at SCA is also extremely affirming. When I applied to my program, I made a commitment to tell the absolute truth on my application. I made sure to list who I was, the causes I cared about, where I came from, and the type of filmmaker, woman, and citizen I’d like to be. When I received the Hobson/Lucas Scholarship, it cemented what I had hoped would be true: that I could tell the truth and be embraced for it.
What activities or student organizations are you involved in outside of the classroom?
Outside of the classroom, I am part of UPRISING, which is a documentary lab for SCA’s Black Students and Alumni to workshop projects, talk to filmmakers, and create community. I have also facilitated Q&A’s for SCA’s Outside the Box [Office] events.
What has been your favorite class or project at SCA thus far?
My favorite project so far was working on my CTPR 508: Production II film, Alicia. The film is a coming-of-age drama about a young woman who subjects herself to a full body wax after being ridiculed by a group of girls for her body hair. My intention was to talk about the ways that women are asked to be “better” women - in this case by removing all of one’s body hair. I loved the experience of working on that project because I had a cast that was willing to be vulnerable and tell a quiet and internal story, trio mates that were hardworking, kind, and believed in my vision, and equally dedicated and encouraging faculty that championed my voice at every step.
What is a meaningful experience you've had while at SCA?
One of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had at SCA has been my role as a student assistant. I remember how anxious I was when I started my program, and it was the constant encouragement of my student assistants that helped me. The opportunity to work with students whose positions I’ve previously been in feels very full circle.
What are your career goals after graduation?
My intention is to write, direct, and produce dramatic films and television that put women and racialized people at the center. At the same time, I want to create a platform to distribute the work of people whose stories are often not celebrated enough - those of women, immigrants, and racialized identities. I seek to help in creating a world where people can see themselves as architects of their own stories and preservers of the most fascinating archives they inherently possess: their own.
What advice do you have for prospective students looking to apply to SCA?
My advice for prospective students looking to apply to SCA is to be clear on your intention for applying in the first place. You don’t have to have all the answers when you apply, but knowing what you believe in, what you stand for, and how you’d like those elements to translate into the work you create will sustain you when things get tough. For those currently writing their application and in need of some confidence: trust that your experiences, the books you’ve read, the films you’ve seen, the conversations you’ve had, and the life you’ve lived is more than good enough.