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Famous film school launches annual scholarship for black students

MetFilm School has launched a new scholarship designed to support the next generation of black filmmakers, recognising the importance of accessibility and equality within the screen industry - The Dan Demissie Voices That Matter Scholarship.

 

On the 30th July 2019, film producer, Dan Demissie (37) tragically lost his life.

 

During 2006/07, Dan was a film student at MetFilm school, based at Ealing Studios. During that time he pitched an idea for a film to the MetFilm Production team. That idea turned into the feature film, Town of Runners,which Dan – as a graduate – coproduced. Dan later worked with MetFilm Production as a producer on School in the Cloud

 

Released in 2012, Town of Runners tells the story of two young girls, living in a rural town in Ethiopia as they try to run their way to a different life, and follows their highs and lows over three years as they try to become professional athletes.

 

Through their struggle, the film gives a unique insight into the ambitions of young Ethiopians living between tradition and the modern world.

 

Little White Lies described the film as the ‘sleeper hit’ of the Olympic Year, and Total Film said: “In an Olympic year, here’s an inspirational reminder of what it’s all about.”

 

Watch this  inspiring little film of Dan’s perspective on the evolution of this film.

 

Jonny Persey, Director of MetFilm School said: “Dan died too soon, and his legacy is strong in his films and amongst those of us who were lucky enough to know him, and we are honoured to launch this important scholarship for a black student in his name.”

 

Today, on the anniversary of his death, and together with his family, MetFilm school has announced its new Dan Demissie Voices that Matter Scholarship, which offers a full scholarship to a MetFilm School BA or MA programme to one black student each year – worth up to £53,000. 

 

The Dan Demissie Voices That Matter Scholarship is a scholarship designed to support the next generation of black filmmakers, recognising the importance of accessibility and equality within the screen industry.

 

MetFilm School will offer one full scholarship for a black applicant each year through its Dan Demissie Voices that Matter scheme.

 

This scholarship is aimed at promoting accessibility and equality and for those who possess a demonstrable passion and talent for the screen industries. MetFilm School aims to provide an opportunity for exceptional black student who, without financial assistance, would be unable to participate on selected programmes.

 

Simon, Dan’s brother said: “On behalf of Dan's family we are truly grateful and honoured that MetFilm has created this scholarship in his name. Film was a great passion in his life, and an avenue where he was able to be creative and produce workwe are so proud of.

 

“Dan always went out of his way to help other people, so it seems appropriate that this scholarship is designed to help people who so often have barriers put in their way. We are excited to see the work that recipients are able to create over the coming years, and are touched to think that he will be supporting them in some way.”

 

The award will cover full tuition fees for the selected programme of study, either at undergraduate or postgraduate level, and is assessed on the basis of financial need as well as talent and achievement in the screen industries.

 

Jonny Persey, added: “The Voices that Matter Scholarship scheme is an important part of the fabric of MetFilm School, and one of the ways in which we seek to bring opportunity to those who would otherwise not be able to access our programmes.

 

“It is a response to a palpable need across the world. The screen industries which can have a powerful impact on attitude and opinion, through the stories we choose to tell and diversity on and off screen.

 

“We are grateful that the Black Lives Matter movement is focusing the world’s attention on some of the most profound injustices in our world, and we are proud to play a small part in the transformation we all need to support.”