Screen and Film School Brighton are thrilled to announce our new patron: Michele D’Acosta.
Michele is best known as producer of the award-winning documentary Biggie & Tupac, which has been acknowledged as one of the 50 most important documentary films of the past 25 years. She was also co-executive producer of the music documentary No Distance Left to Run, which was nominated for Best Long Form Music Video for the 53rd Grammy Awards. She has worked as a producer at HBO, BBC, and Channel 4.
Michele studied Russian, German, and International Relations at the University of West London. She did her postgraduate work at UCLA, in the screenwriting program. She won Best Musical screenplay for The Prince of Hip Hop. As director, editor, and animator, her short film Cooking The Earth – a surreal vision of climate change – won Best Animation at the Moondance International festival. She has twice been nominated as Best Director for the UK Film Council’s Breakthrough Brits Awards. She is currently working on a slate of diversity themed Film/TV projects including a documentary feature about reparations inspired by the feature film Selma by Ava DuVernay.
Diversity empowerment group, The TV Collective, recognised Michele D’Acosta as one of the 50 most influential People of Colour in British Television.
Michele joins us as our second Screen and Film School Brighton patron, alongside Graham Duff who was appointed in February of this year. “I’m thrilled to be involved at this time because we have an opportunity to bring about change under the wonderful leadership of Itziar Leighton. I am proud to be associated with a school that has the humility to put out the message: We Can Do Better,” said Michele. “I look forward to being a role model and a mentor to the next generation of filmmakers.”
Screen and Film School Brighton Principal Itziar Leighton said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce Michelle D’Costa will become our second patron joining Graham Duff at Screen and Film School, Brighton. Michelle has been a long time friend of the film school, offering her insight and guidance to students, and in providing valuable advice and steerage in our curriculum development.” Itziar added: “We are very lucky to have someone of such talent, experience and esteemed reputation and I very much look forward to working together, and introducing her to all our students and staff.”
Michele also shared her advice for our students taking their first steps in the industry:
“Believe in yourself and don’t give up at the first hurdle. Trust your instincts and listen to your inner voice. To succeed in this industry you need to find a way to stand out. Develop your personal voice, have strong ethics and don’t settle for mediocrity. Do things no one else is willing to do. When someone says it can’t be done, or that it is impossible…that’s the moment to step up and go to the next level.”
What excites Michele about being involved with Screen and Film School Brighton?
“I feel part of a family and a community of filmmakers and pioneers with the ethos and vision to use the medium of film as a catalyst for positive social change. Another initiative to highlight is the school’s five year guarantee to the alumni community. This commitment helps graduates to stay in touch with an extensive network of industry contacts, and to receive career support from the school’s dedicated Industry Liaison team. I know from personal experience how challenging it can be to leave the rarefied world of film school and enter the real world!”
What other projects are in the works for Michele?
“A mix of film, TV, animation and art projects with inclusivity and Black Lives Inspire at the heart of every project.”