An Emerson alumna received an award this fall from the Directors Guild of America just months after she graduated in May with an MFA in Media Art.
Jordan Salvatoriello ’12 won the Jury Prize in the women filmmakers category for Graceland Girls, a documentary about the education of girls in Kenya.
“I’m really excited to be recognized by such a prestigious organization. That’s huge,” Salvatoriello said. “There’s always this idea that a student film is not professional. But with Emerson’s support, I was able to make this a professional-quality film that was worthy of recognition.”
The award is a shining moment for the Media Art program, which is only four years old, said program director Jan Roberts-Breslin.
“We’re particularly proud of Jordan,” Roberts-Breslin said. “It’s an award only open to big film and media art graduate programs. It’s a beautiful and inspiring film that champions the cause of educational opportunity for all young women.”
Salvatoriello filmed the documentary at the Graceland boarding school for girls in rural Kenya for a month while still enrolled at Emerson earlier this year. She used the film as her master’s project, which is required for graduation.
Education is a serious issue in the developing country, where families must pay money for their children to attend school beyond eighth grade, and where sending girls to school is not the norm, she said.
Salvatoriello’s award was reported recently in Variety.
Salvatoriello, who lives in Boston, also won four “Feminism in Film” awards at the Women’s Independent Film Festival this year. Visit her website at gracelandgirlsdocumentary.com.