Past Recipients Student Testimonials  

Vashti Anderson is a Wisconsin native of Trinidadian-Indian and Norwegian-American heritage. She received her Communication Arts and South Asian Studies degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, during which time she studied film in India, receiving instruction from South Indian filmmakers. Her feature documentary, "Looking at Ourselves:The South Asian Diaspora," shot in Wisconsin, was featured at the National Conference on South Asia.

In New York, she worked professionally on independent feature films and television productions in the Locations and Art Departments. She earned her MFA in Film at New York University. Her film "Zara Mirage,” shot in New York, shows the experiences of a person of mixed race living between two cultures. “Jeffrey’s Calypso,” shot in Trinidad, received grants from The Caucus Foundation, The Riese Foundation, and Kodak, was a Wasserman/King Finalist at NYU, and received a "Faculty Commendation in Screenwriting." It earned "Best Narrative," "Best Woman Director," and "Best Overall" at the Starz First Look Film Festival, the "Goldener Akkord Award" at the Cosi Fan Tutte Vienna International Film Festival, "Best Cinematography" at Fusion Film Festival, "Director's Choice Award," at the Angelus Awards. It was also named "Programmer's Pick of the Day" at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, and was described as a "landmark film" by Caribbean director Yao Ramesar.

Vashti wrote and directed "Jeffrey's Calypso" because she was inspired to tell a love story that explores themes of race and class in Trinidad, through the looking glass of Old Time Calypso music.

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