Hoos Win at the Poe Film Festival
While his stay on Grounds was not particularly long, Edgar Allan Poe’s UVA connections are deeply woven into school history, from students and visitors stopping by his room to a society that is named in his honor. Last Fall, the connection reached down I-64 when two UVA Drama students earned awards from the Poe Film Festival in Richmond. The annual festival is a weekend-long celebration of talented college, high school, and independent filmmakers who are inspired by the creativity of the master storyteller, and features competitions for independent professional filmmakers as well as for students. More than 30 mid-Atlantic universities are invited to compete for trophies and cash awards in categories ranging from technical merit, best documentary, best screenplay, and grand prize film. The 2018 winners included Olivia Comm (College ‘18) who won the Screenplay Award for Grow Wings, and Micah Watson (College ‘18), who won the Grand Prize for Molasses. Watson, a native of Wichita, Kansas, was the winner of the Kennedy Center Undergraduate Playwriting Award for her play, Canaan. Her time at UVA, she told UVA Today recently, moved up the timeline for her writing career. “Before I came to UVA,” she said, “I thought I would be writing my own pieces at like 30 or 40. Now I am seeing so many young artists of color really making their moves, and I’m thinking, ‘Why can’t that be me?’” With success like this from Watson and Comm, there is no reason it can’t, or won’t be. Keep an eye out for these Hoos on the Rise!