Mason Richards is the perfect trifecta. Handsome, Kind and Extremely Talented. He is the most dynamic producer I’ve ever worked with and Hollywood heavy weights like Devon Franklin are taking notice of his Directing and Writing abilities. The impeccably dressed young man can always be found in a suit and a smile and his skills are equally as impressive as his style.
The Guyanese/Brooklyn bred director was destined for greatness. He attended Vanderbilt University, where he directed his first full length play ‘For Colored Girls’ in his freshman year. In 2010 Richards earned his MFA in Film Directing at CAL Arts. He wrote and directed several short narratives including The SeaWall, which made it’s world debut during the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The incredible film that draws on his personal experience as a child in Guyana, South America, went on to screen at other festivals all over the world.
“I wanted to show Guyana, the country. I wanted to show the beauty of the country that I remember as a boy and I also wanted to, tell a story about immigration. Because there are more Guyanese living abroad then in the actual country. I also wanted to make a film about family, because that’s really important to me.”
Mason was able to travel to Guyana to shoot The SeaWall because friends and family donated money and equipment to aid in his journey. He is proof that when you’re passionate and you live your life as a good person, people will give their last to help make your dreams come true.
In 2012, Mason was the recipient of the Sony Pictures Diversity Fellowship $10,000 Grant. In addition to the money, he was awarded the opportunity to be mentored by Sony Pictures VP of Production, Devon Franklin. He selected Richards from a group of Talented Filmmakers in Film Independents Project:Involve.
Devon Franklin spoke about why he believes Mason Richards is someone special:
“I really responded to Mason’s story in a strong way. He is really one of those guys whose work has integrity and creativity in it. He also has his own interesting personal story. It was the combination of all those things that made him the right candidate” says Franklin.
When asked about Mason’s film, The Seawall:
“I liked how he draws on his own experiences. Mason’s telling of the story is very organic to who he his and I think that’s always a powerful way to get into the business.”
“For a guy like Mason to get this opportunity, having the career jumpstart and profile that comes with it can make all of the difference” states Franklin, “there are so many things that can get an executive’s attention, but when you have something like this that makes you stand out it always helps. Getting the fellowship, having it come through Film Independent will definitely raise his profile of who he is and what his capability is in the industry.”
Since winning the Sony Fellowship, Mason re-teamed with his fiscal sponsor Friends & Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Guyana (FROG), a DC based non-profit, to campaign to raise funds for the feature-length version of his short “The Seawall,” which he plans to return to his home country to film. Additionally, Mason has collaborated with writer Matthew Aaron Goodman on the screenplay adaptation of Goodman’s award-winning novel Hold Love Strong, an epic-coming of age story set in a New York City housing project. World-renowned writer, poet, activist, Nikki Giovanni and author and activist Dr. Cornel West have both endorsed the novel as a powerful and poignant story. It will take a great director, like Mason Richards to make the screen-play come to life.
Mason Richards is Talent On The Rise. From Guyana to Bed Stuy to Los Angeles, he continues to inspire dreamers everywhere he goes. He is a talented young man with a pure heart and a loving spirit. We are so proud of Mason. He deserves every bit of success that is headed his way.
For more information on Mason Richards CLICK HERE
Watch Mason receive his Sony Pictures Award Below:
Watch the “Beyond The Camera” Interview with Mason Below: