A year after the tragic death of film producer, Dan Demissie, MetFilm School preserves his legacy by launching a new scholarship in his name designed to support the next generation of Black filmmakers.

Dan Demissie
The late filmmaker, Dan Demissie

On the anniversary of the 37-year-old filmmaker’s – Dan Demissie – death on 30 July 2019, MetFilm

School announced its new Dan Demissie Voices that Matter Scholarship, which offers placement to a MetFilm School BA or MA programme to one Black student each year – worth up to £53,000.

The Dan Demissie Voices That Matter Scholarship recognises the importance of accessibility and access within the screen industry, the kind of opportunity which saw Dan produce his 2012 feature film Town of Runners. Dan’s film tells the story of two young girls living in a rural town in Ethiopia as they try to run their way to a different life and follows their highs and lows over three years as they try to become professional athletes.

Through their struggle, the film gives a unique insight into the ambitions of young Ethiopians living between tradition and the modern world. Dan shared his perspective on the evolution of his film in this video.

“Dan always went out of his way to help other people, so it seems appropriate that this scholarship is designed to help people who so often have barriers put in their way.”

Jonny Persey, Director of MetFilm School said: “Dan died too soon, and his legacy is strong in his films and amongst those of us who were lucky enough to know him, and we are honoured to launch this important scholarship for a Black student in his name.”

This new scholarship will offer a special springboard to one Black applicant each year.

Simon, Dan’s brother said: “On behalf of Dan’s family we are truly grateful and honoured that MetFilm has created this scholarship in his name. Film was a great passion in his life, and an avenue where he was able to be creative and produce work we are so proud of.

“Dan always went out of his way to help other people, so it seems appropriate that this scholarship is designed to help people who so often have barriers put in their way. We are excited to see the work that recipients are able to create over the coming years and are touched to think that he will be supporting them in some way.”

The award will cover full tuition fees for the selected programme of study, either at undergraduate or postgraduate level, and is assessed on the basis of financial need as well as talent and achievement in the screen industries.

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