Graduate Student Earns National Award for Script
School of Communication Studies alumna Natalie Moses recently earned the National Award of Excellence for her feature-length movie script at the annual Broadcast Education Association and National Association of Broadcasters (BEA/NAB) conference in Las Vegas. Moses was a graduate student at Kent State University who graduated in May 2017.
Moses wrote the script as part of a course led by Traci Easley Williams, who asked her students to write about the events of the May 4 shooting at Kent State. Williams encouraged Moses to submit her script for the BEA Festival of Media Arts competition. Moses’ script, entitled “69/70,” was selected from more than 1,400 entries.
“Tears instantly ran down my face when I found out,” Moses said. “I was so happy. When you write something for that long, it feels like a chunk of you. It felt really good to have someone like it. It felt lovely.”
Moses said she found out that she earned the award in a nontraditional manner. She received a call from Williams asking her why she didn’t tell her she’d won. Moses hadn’t received her feedback from BEA/NAB yet, but they had put the winning titles on their website.
“Traci found out from one of the other students in my class. She just happened to be on the website when they put it up. She called Traci and was like, ‘Natalie won!’”
“69/70” follows two main characters through their first year of college during the 1969-1970 school year. Moses describes it as a coming-of-age story full of romance and inner turmoil, culminating in the May 4 shooting. While none of her characters were directly involved with the shooting, the event made an impact in their lives.
“It’s a fictional story that happened in a very real time,” Moses said. “It’s about going against your parents’ political beliefs, it’s about finding your voice, it’s about getting together and speaking out. A lot of the themes I wrote about, I’m seeing now.”
Moses said the topic of May 4 was very personal to her; the events impacted her family directly.
“My uncle was stuck on campus on May 4, and there was about a day or so that people didn’t know the names of the people who had been shot and killed,” Moses said. “People couldn’t leave. My grandpa came to Ohio [to check on my uncle] and got turned away by the National Guard. He couldn’t get on campus.”
Moving forward, Moses hopes someone in the film industry will pick up her script.
“Ultimately, I want this to be made into a real movie,” Moses said. “I want to see my stuff on screen. I want to make movies someday.”
Moses graduates this spring with her master’s degree in communication studies with a concentration in mediated and mass communication.
For more information about BEA awards, visit https://www.beaweb.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017_Festival_Winners_List1.pdf.