Mississippi School of the Arts student from Natchez wins honor at film festival

Published 10:16 am Sunday, July 4, 2021

BROOKHAVEN — Seniors at the Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA), Ronald Ries and Addison Laird recently captured 1st and 3rd place in the high school student film competition of the Tupelo Film Festival.

Ries of Collinsville received 1st place and Laird of Natchez received 3rd place for their award-winning short films.

As Media Arts/Filmmaking students at MSA, both class of 2021 seniors submitted a short film to be judged by professional film producers.

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Benjamin Taylor of Saltillo captured 2nd place. He will be attending MSA this upcoming school year as a junior in the class of 2023.  

“We’re excited to see our media arts students succeed in the high school classroom. MSA continues to shine in the world of film since the inception of the Media Arts/Filmmaking discipline in 2015,” said MSA’s Executive Director Dr. Suzanne Hirsch. 

Special opportunities each year offer students unique experiences in their arts disciplines at MSA.

For 2021-2022, MSA will collaborate with San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) for a shared film class resulting in short films to be shot in each state. MSA students will travel to San Francisco during this class. 

SFAI Instructor Christopher Coppola’s inspiration for the project comes in part from his uncle, Director Francis Ford Coppola, whom he states taught him, “The job and purpose of cinema is to convince people that the world they live in is not the only one available to them.”

The class will meet two days a week, and students will receive graded credit for the course, which will reflect on their transcripts. The course will also feature guest lecturers who will share their film expertise with the students and provide valuable insight.

John Kelly Shelburne, MSA’s Media Arts/Film Instructor, said, “This collaboration will allow students from both MSA and SFAI to learn about each other’s environments and create cinematic works that reflect their feelings and what they hope viewers will learn about these two cities.”

Don’t miss out on your opportunity for this amazing opportunity and so much more. Applications are still open for rising 11th graders in media/filmmaking, theatre, dance, and vocal departments for 2021-2022.

Visit msabrookhaven.org to apply today.