“Wow! I can’t believe it! God is good! We won 5 awards tonight at The Detroit Filmmaker Awards. Shout out to Darren Brown and his team for putting this wonderful event together for Detroit Filmmakers! Shout out to my amazing cast and crew! Love y’all! Congrats to all the winners and nominees! ” read the Facebook post for the Ray Media /CTC Creative feature film Sincerely, Brenda.
While there were many notable winners for this inaugural event, the big winner was Sincerely, Brenda. It took five prestigious awards including: Best Director Winner – Ken Nelson, Best Editor – Ken Nelson, Best Supporting Actor – Sean Vaughn, Best Lighting – Alex Gasparetto and team, and Best Cinematography- Alex Gasparetto.
Sincerely, Brenda was written and directed by MSU Communication Arts & Science Alumnus Kenneth Nelson, Jr., and draws upon the talents of Producer Briana Sparks ’18 and Assistant Director Paul Roh ’18, both alumni who majored in Media & Information at ComArtSci.
Shot entirely on location in Lansing, with two scenes filmed in Detroit, Sincerely, Brenda features an all black cast, with powerful performances by actors and actresses from Michigan State with prominent roles played by Rico Bruce Wade, Tiffani Ferguson Pruitt, Sean-Vaughn, among many other strong stars.
In the movie, a recovering alcoholic attempts to reconcile with his estranged sons over a weekend, and instead the encounter reveals skeletons from the family’s past that put the family at risk of falling apart.
Nelson wanted to depict men who face real struggles and work hard to overcome harrowing circumstances.
“It was important to me that you see the complexity of emotion in the black male characters, because when I grew up, I didn’t see that complexity on screen,” said Nelson. “During the screenings I realized, this isn’t just a black male issue, it’s men in general. We are flawed, and many times it’s difficult to face the situations that shaped who we are. So, some of us find solace in bad choices.”
Sincerely, Brenda has been nominated for 18 awards, winning 10 awards including Best Feature Film of the Year from the Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards. The film also won awards for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Cinematographer from various organizations.
Sincerely, Brenda is presently making its rounds in the film festival circuit. It can also be seen on Amazon Prime.