Local director and St. Joseph's University professor Deron Albright recently received a 2012 Pew Fellowship in the Arts from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.
The $60,000 fellowship is awarded to artists who develop a significant body of work, according to a press release.
"The Pew Fellowship is designed to support mid-career artists ready to take the next step, based on work they have already accomplished," Albright said in the release. "The work on my film The Destiny of Lesser Animals (Sibo ne kra, Dabo ne kra), and the success from that was a major part of the Pew's decision to grant the award."
Albright, of Narberth, produced and directed the film during the 2008-09 academic year while he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the National Film and Television Institute in Ghana, West Africa, according to the release.
The Destiny of Lesser Animals, which was filmed almost entirely in Ghana (save for a few New York City flashbacks), follows the story of Ghanian police detective Inspector Boniface Koomsin and his journey to recover a forged United States passport that will allow him reentry to America and the chance to recover his dreams.
Albright presented his film The Destiny of Lesser Animals at Bryn Mawr Film Institute in March, followed by a Q-and-A session with Albright and the film's star, Yao Nunoo.
At the Bryn Mawr Film Institute Q-and-A session, Albright called the film a "preemptive response," as the story was filmed in 2009, to the viral Kony 2012 campaign, which depicted the war criminal Joseph Kony.
In addition to receiving the Pew Fellowship, Albright has also been selected for the Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab, which takes place Sept. 6 to Sept. 16, and the Independent Feature Project (IFP) Emerging Narrative Program, which is held in New York City from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 in conjunction with IFP's Independent Film week, according to the release.
Albright will be discussing his developing Invisible Son project. Albright is directing and co-wrote the screenplay with Nunoo.