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USC Student First in Cinema Society Contest

January 18, 1988|KEVIN THOMAS

USC graduate student Beverlyn E. Fray's "The Long Walk Home," a subtle and eloquent 20-minute drama written with John Cork(from his original story) on the impact of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott upon a black maid and her white employer, took the top prize of $1,500 in the Black American Cinema Society's annual independent film and video competition held Saturday at USC's Davidson Conference Center.

The second prize of $1,000 went to Carmen Coustaut, a Howard University professor (and a previous BACS winner) for her 28-minute "Extra Change," an infectious and amusing vignette with serious undertones about a bright 12-year-old girl's coming to terms with the pressures of adolescence.

Charles Butler Nuckolls won the $750 third prize for his 23-minute "Shanty Town," a provocative documentary on a group of homeless New Yorkers fighting for their right to preserve their compound on a vacant lot on the Lower East Side.

Mark A. Lyons, a USC graduate student, received a $300 honorable mention for his hilarious eight-minute "Duel at Dinner," in which a young woman turns into a Rambo in her attempt to kill a rat.

A special award of merit was voted to Stanley E. Nelson for "Two Dollars and a Dream," his fascinating documentary on the lives of Madame C. J. Walker, who in 1915 became America's first self-made millionairess with the development of her hair-straightening process, and her tragic daughter A'Lelia, a high-living patron of the Harlem Renaissance. "Two Dollars and a Dream" has aired on PBS and was recently screened at UCLA as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' current Contemporary Documentary Series.

These awards will be presented at the Black American Cinema Society's sixth annual awards reception Jan. 31 at the Directors Guild of America. The winning films will be shown Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m. in the Four Star Theater as part of the 10th annual Black Talkies on Parade Festival, which runs Feb. 5-11. BACS is part of the Western States Black Research Center founded by Dr. Mayme A. Clayton. For information on the festival and the awards banquet call (213) 737-3292 or 737-3585.

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