On Set with Zandashe Brown
Zandashe Brown is a film-making LSU alumna. The Rosedale, La., native is winning awards at film festivals around the country for her short film, “Blood Runs Down.”
When did you attend LSU?
I attended LSU from 2013 to 2016 and graduated with a bachelor of arts in liberal arts, concentrating on film and media arts. I also took plenty of classes in the School of Theatre’s film & television section and dabbled in communications. My minor was in African & African American studies.
Why did you attend LSU?
LSU had always seemed like the natural path for me to take as I'd gone through high school. I wanted to stay within Louisiana and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life at the time. I had taken an interest in film in high school and was crazy enough to go through with the idea of studying it in college. I looked at the budding resources in LSU's film department, crossed my fingers, and hoped I was making the right decision.
What do you do now?
Now I'm a filmmaker. A recent award-winning filmmaker, I might add. I'm very much still a beginner and at the very start off an incline after having my most recent short film travel through the film festival circuit, but I'm shocked to see all the opportunities it has brought me and I don't take them for granted.
What is your film about?
“Blood Runs Down” is a Southern gothic psychological horror short film about a young girl who must decide between saving her mother or protecting herself. It's a vague log line for a very different type of film that’s difficult to categorize. But it’s a story about inherited generational trauma, and a love letter to Southern Louisiana, Black mothers and daughters, and to myself. So far, we've screened in New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York City, Brooklyn, Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, and other cities. We recently won "Best Psychological Short Film" at the Women in Horror Film Festival in Peachtree, Ga., and "Best Louisiana Short" at the New Orleans Film Festival. Currently, we're in the running for "Best Horror Short" and "Best Cinematography" at the Pennsylvania Indie Shorts Film Festival.
What is something you learned or experienced at LSU that you still use today?
LSU taught me the importance of resources and community, and how to take advantage of them without ever taking them for granted. It can be difficult and intimidating to ask for help—to this day, the most stressful part about making a film for me is finding a team to make it with. In school especially, I would get anxious about sharing my ideas with others and asking them to come on board, but the nature of this business is teamwork. And I've learned that people want to work with me and that still blows my mind. I've watched my colleagues grow as filmmakers in different ways since graduating and I’ve seen how much of a benefit we've all been to each other in big and small ways. People have found their mentors, their business partners, their supporters through our department and that is invaluable. It warmed my heart to screen “Blood Runs Down” at Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City and to have my former colleagues who now live in the city come and support me. So, I definitely don't take for granted the community I've developed at LSU and all the support they've given me.
Additional Link: http://www.zandashe.com
Contact Rachel Holland
LSU Division of Strategic Communications
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