New England Film Star Award Winners

2020 Winner: Melissa McClung

Writer/Director of With Reckless Abandon 

2019 Winner: Jessica Estelle Huggins,

Jessica Estelle Huggins

Creative Producer of Black Women Shine in Boston 

Black Women Shine in Boston is a limited documentary series that highlights four Black women in the Boston area who are carrying out positively impactful work in local neighborhoods. From the desegregation busing conflicts of the 1970s to the false arrests of Black Americans in present day, far too often, Boston has struggled, for decades, with its image of racial tensions in the city. By producing this series, it is director Jessica Estelle Huggins’ hope to pivot the conversation to focus on the incredible impact Black Americans, specifically Black women have contributed to the city. With this redirection of focus, there is a chance for a genuine shift in the narrative of how Black people have found and continue to find ways to prosper in America.

The series is currently in production. After winning the New England Film Star Award in October 2019, Jessica began production in November 2019 and continued until COVID-19 halted in-person production. She has completed shooting two episodes, Jessicah Pierre (Queens Co) and Ayana Mack (Graphic Artist). Production for the remaining episodes with Catherine Morris (BAMSFEST) and Dr. Charmain F. Jackman (Innopysch) will take place as soon as possible.

2019 Award Partners:

2019 Awardee Received:

  • Rule / Boston Camera $650 certificate for rental
  • Hunts Photo & Video $500 certificate for rental
  • Talamas $300 certificate for rental
  • Adobe Creative Cloud 1-year membership
  • Women in Film Video New England 1-year membership
  • Two in-person strategy/consulting sessions with members of the Animus Studios team (including one of the partners) at Animus Studios in Riverside, Rhode Island
  • Event services and hosting for a public/private screening event at Jupiter Hall in Manchester, New Hampshire
  • A hair and make-up session with Sydney Hunt, MUA and a private photo shoot culminating in one professional photo by Stephanie Alvarez Ewens at her studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • A film strategy session with Founder Michele Meek via Skype or Zoom