Each semester, we bring in several emerging scholars and artists from diverse backgrounds who are embarking on careers in communications education. They spend a week during which they give guest lectures, sit in on classes, meet faculty across campus, and give a public presentation on their work.
Independent filmmaker, director, producer, teacher, and advocate, Mason Richards will be one of our Diversity Emerging Artists in the fall 2019 semester, after visiting in spring 2019 and having students and faculty enthusiastically invite him to return.
He was born in Guyana, South America and emigrated to Brooklyn, New York with his family at age 7, where he spent most of his youth.
Mason is a public speaker/facilitator and professor of film directing and screenwriting, and has curated several Community Outreach Programs, film courses and workshops to communities often underrepresented in terms of race, gender and ability in the Hollywood film industry. Mason is an adjunct faculty at Emerson College-Los Angeles , and a regular ‘Filmmaker in Residence’ at Ithaca College. Mason also works as a Creative Consultant and Facilitator of cross-cultural communication for numerous non-profits, colleges and university internationally, and produces digital content and mini-docs around diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and representation.
Mason has a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Human & Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University, and has worked as a Broadcast Associate at CBS News in NYC, and in International Sales & Marketing at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles before deciding to pursue his Masters in Filmmaking as a way to tell stories in Hollywood that often get overlooked. Mason has an MFA in Film Directing from California Institute of the Arts (CAL ARTS) where his award-winning thesis short film THE SEAWALL shot entirely on location in Guyana, South America, was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival (2011), the Havana International Film Festival in Cuba (2014) and has screened at festivals, museums and universities in the UK, Toronto, and throughout Caribbean, including the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (2014).
Mason is currently in pre-production for the feature-length version of his award-winning short film THE SEAWALL, and loves to split his time between New York City and Los Angeles. He considers himself and artist-activist believing that change and transformation can happen through the arts.