Dexter Dugar, filmmaker and director of This is Connections, recently won the John F Outcalt Award For Outstanding Filmmaking, an award that includes a $5000.00 college scholarship from NBCUniversal. Following the Reel Works 2014 Gala, here are Dexter’s thoughts:
Well, honestly, I didn’t think I was going to win. It helps that I had an entire network of people to tap into when getting votes. But the film itself, I consider it one of my greater achievements. It’s not everyday that you get to make something that many people can see worldwide. Something containing details about my life that only those that really get to know me hear about. Leading up to the gala, I tried my best to gain likes on Facebook, but that was going too slowly. I went to my old foster care agency to spread the word, and I have to say, that entire building voted for me. I had to go over there and thank them personally.
We then screened my film at the JCCA Bronx office. The turnout was better than I expected and we even gained a few potential students of the Spring 2015 Lab. By that time, the gala was about a week away and I couldn’t find anywhere else to screen so I just waited. I’ve noticed that when I doubt my success, I usually succeed, so I was betting on that. The day of the gala comes and I’m really nervous. Luckily, the education coordinator from JCCA, Kinia Gonzalez, was there to support me. After getting acquainted with the folks at my table and enjoying the comedy of the night, the moment of truth came.
When they called my name, I was honestly shocked. Hoping I didn’t trip while walking up to the stage, I accepted my award while screaming inside. After giving my nice and concise speech, I sat back down and thought about what my father was going to say. Truth be told, everyone I told was proud and just like when I graduated high school, my father told the whole neighborhood about my win. I’m going to put the scholarship money towards school. In this city, you gotta save where you can, and books are expensive.