PhD. Student Pablo Correa Wins Bronze Award for Film

Communication PhD. student Pablo Correa recently won a Bronze Award at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival for his film, The Isadore Mizell Family Legacy.

The film shows the history of the Mizell family, one of the founding black pioneering families of Ft. Lauderdale. The Mizell family contributed to black Fort Lauderdale through health, education and civic service. In fact, it was the Mizells who created Sistrunk as the main commercial thoroughfare as black Ft. Lauderdale expanded as a modern community. It specifically showcases Isadore Mizell, who moved his family to Broward County before it was a county.

The Isadore Mizell Family Legacy can most basically be described as the family’s firsthand account of a journey through segregation, civil rights, struggles, tribulations and triumphs.

The film was inspired by Correa’s interest in Ivory’s, a restaurant on Sistrunk Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. Once he discovered all of the history behind the restaurant and the surrounding area, Correa had plenty to work with and eventually developed the film into a story about the past, present and future of Ft. Lauderdale.

Correa says, “The best part of creating the film was learning all of the history about my hometown that I had no idea about. I also really enjoyed meeting many of the local pioneers and families.”

Of course, there were also difficulties that came with filming. The hardest part for Correa was doing everything by himself, from researching to interviewing to directing to editing and so much more.

Fortunately, Correa had Dr. Davis Houck by his side while filming as his lead instructor and mentor. Dr. Houck guided him through the research process, pointed him towards great primary resources and helped him stay on schedule and motivated.

All in all, he experience taught Correa that there really are no shortcuts when it comes to filming.

He discloses, “I learned that it is better to take your time and do it right rather than rush through it.”

Because he created the film for his Creative Master’s thesis, Correa used a lot of the techniques that he’s learned throughout the years at FSU in making this film. Correa believes that Dr. Opel‘s Documentary class and Dr. Castillo’s Graphics & Animation class helped him the most in his endeavours.

He explains, “Almost every skill I learned while at FSU was utilized in creating this film, from the most basic time management skills, to researching and interviewing, as well as filming and editing.”

To learn more about the Communication doctorate program at FSU, click here.