SCOM Alumna Wins HBO Short Film Award

School of Communication alumna Anndi Jinelle Liggett (B.A. ‘15) recently received the HBO Short Film Award during the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) showcase for her short film “Jelly”. The HBO Short Film Award Showcase is considered one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the world. Alongside the recognition, the winner receives a cash prize of $10,000.

“Jelly” tells the story of a young, Black girl in Brooklyn with a fascination with death. The protagonist, Jelly, is trying to solve the mystery of her missing neighbor. Overall, the story focuses on grief and how children make sense of it through their imaginative minds.

“Winning this award meant the world to me. I’ve been following the American Black Film Festival for years and always dreamed of being a finalist in the prestigious HBO Short Film Award Showcase,” Liggett said. “To now be this year’s winner feels like an incredible accomplishment. I got the opportunity to share a film I’m really proud of with a predominantly black audience–my target demographic. On top of that, the film is now Oscar-qualified which is beyond my wildest hopes for this film.”

Liggett’s love for children’s books influenced the narration of the film. It was important for her to feature a Black girl as the hero of her own adventure. Narrated by André Holland, this film evokes a literary feel and provides a “once upon a time” perspective for Black kids in Brooklyn.

When reminiscing on her time at FSU CCI, Liggett mentioned that one of the most important lessons she learned was that media has a large influence on the collective perception of ourselves and our surroundings. While writing “Jelly”, she worried the film’s unique approach to a grim subject matter may be odd for some viewers. Liggett then recalled that her experiences at CCI taught her to feel comfortable expressing herself and her ideas.

Liggett expressed that her journey with “Jelly” is not over. She is considering turning this short film into a feature-length movie.