A senior at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with roots in Ashe County has been awarded a prestigious award from the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
Jeremiah Cullen, who grew up in Ashe County, received a jury award for Best African American Student Filmmaker from the DGA at a ceremony in New York City on Dec. 5 for directing the short film “Baldwin.”
Cullen is the grandson of Marlette B. Cullen of Ashe and the late Lt. Col. Victor A. Cullen.
Cullen attended Wilkes Community College for two years before transferring to UNC where he is a film studies major. Prior to college, Cullen was active in the Ashe County Little Theater.
“Baldwin,” which was originally screened at a number of film festivals throughout the state, is described as a story of a young man learning about “humanity and family from the most unlikely of companions, his robot butler.”
The DGA Student Film Awards have been given annually for 19 years to “honor, encourage and bring attention to outstanding African American, Asian American, Latino and Women filmmakers” in universities and film schools nationwide.
Winners of the jury award receive $1,000 and have their films screened at the award ceremony in New York City.
DGA President Paris Barclay publicly congratulated all of the winners on a job well done, and said in a press release that the awards, “shine a spotlight on promising new talent while continuing to encourage diversity in the entertainment industry.”