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Student awarded film scholarship

Adam Llorens | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weeks ago, senior Kathleen Bracke envisioned her one-of-a-kind senior thesis: writing, directing and editing a 25-minute film about a young Irish girl shot on location in the Emerald Isle’s native tongue.

This dream became a reality for Bracke after she received a congratulatory phone call from the Princess Grace Foundation, informing her that she had won its Undergraduate Film Scholarship.

“I was shocked when I found out I won it,” Bracke said. “I feel really fortunate because its an amazing program that supports artists who want to break into the film world; it provides the stepping-stone an aspiring filmmaker needs to bride from one place to another.”

Now celebrating its 30th year, the Princess Grace Award recognizes outstanding emerging artists in film, theater, dance, playwriting and choreography. The award’s namesake comes from Grace Kelly, a 1950s actress best known for her roles in films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

After leaving Hollywood, Kelly married into the royal family of Monaco, a small city-state located on the French Riviera. Friends, family and donors from around the world established the Princess Grace Foundation shortly after her death in 1982 to continue Kelly’s support of the performing arts.

Now, Bracke will be able to use the funding from the award to create her film.

“To apply for the award, I had to include an outline of my thesis project and a portfolio of all of my work up to this point,” she said. “Because of my undergraduate research opportunities, I was able to go to Ireland to explore what exactly I wanted to do for the film.

“The Princess Grace Foundation saw that I wasn’t going to Ireland for fun – this was a passion of mine,” she said.

Bracke said she developed the idea for the script on a car ride with her mother two weeks before the application was due.

“We were talking about all the different experiences I’ve had in Ireland and it all came back to culture and language,” Bracke said. “I wanted to express the culture of the area while using the Irish language in the film.”

Bracke she will order film equipment and begin hiring crewmembers and actors after finalizing the script.

“I’m going back to Ireland in October to meet with potential cast members and get other logistics sorted out,” Bracke said. “We’re planning on shooting the film over winter break.”

Bracke said she will begin the postproduction process in March and the film will be ready to submit to festivals in May after its premiere on campus.

“This journey definitely began outside the classroom by meeting with professors and picking their brains,” she said. “I really got to establish some great relationships with my professors who became mentors to me.”

Bracke said she wants to incorporate her Film, Television and Theatre major and Irish Language and Literature minor into a career.

“I love cinematography and I love the Irish culture, so I imagine I will be in Ireland working with film,” Bracke said. “I want to make people think in a new way.”