A’Montay Giddings-Watson, a 2017 graduate student fellow in CMSI’s Community Voice Project (CVP) won Silver in the “Trailers & Digital Shorts” category for her short animated film, Introverted Girl, at the 2018 DC Web Fest earlier this month.

As one of six CVP fellows in 2017, Giddings-Watson was competitively chosen and trained to become a Digital Storytelling Facilitator. Her winning animated short,Introverted Girl, began as the result of an early writing assignment during the training. Giddings-Watson says of her win, “It wouldn’t have been possible without the Community Voice Project facilitator program. It allowed me to develop as a storyteller and be able to write something that not only relates to myself, but to others.”

Founded in 2013, the annual DC Web Fest highlights, “the best of the indie spirit in digital content.” It celebrates online media on the forefront of emerging art and technology, with an emphasis on local and international policy implications. This year’s festival took place on April 6-7, 2018, at the AT&T Forum for Technology, Entertainment, and Policy in Washington, D.C.

CMSI and the AU School of Communication Film & Media Arts program both did well at DC Web Fest. Former CMSI Fellow (2017) Diana Eaton’s script, Close of Business, won the “Local Hero” Award for scripts. Eaton also currently works as an Event Coordinator and Photographer for the DC Web Fest. Recent American University Film & Media Arts alum Abrar Abulfaraj’s animated digital short, If You Care, won Gold in the Trailers & Digital Shorts category. If You Care also won the “Local Hero” award for digital shorts.

The 2018 Community Voice Project Fellows program is currently underway; see this year’s fellows here.