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Filming Stories of Immigration and Space

Josh Weissbach, a 2009 graduate, received a prestigious Princess Grace Award to support creation of his Division III project, Topoanalytic Cinema.

Weissbach received the 2008 Cary Grant Film Award, a scholarship for undergraduate documentary film work. This Princess Grace Award is a special honor awarded to only one filmmaker each year, and represents the selection panel's regard for Weissbach's work and dedication to film. It is named as a tribute to actor Cary Grant's artistry as well as his friendship with Princess Grace of Monaco.

The award supported Weissbach's final project at Hampshire, an experimental documentary telling the individual stories of three Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida. The film explored the subjects’ relationships to space and how that has changed since they left Cuba.

Josh Weissbach and Mariska Hargitay
“Space has profound effects on our lives,” said Weissbach, “and the people whose stories I want to tell have been through so many changes coming to America. A lot of that has to do with space, in particular their living space. I am interested in how that has affected them.”

It was not his first film exploring human-spatial relationships. In spring 2007 Weissbach studied in Cuba through Hampshire’s study abroad program there. He worked on a number of projects, including a film study of a tenement-housing complex in the historic district of Old Havana.

While the earlier film is completely separate from his Division III film, Weissbach was able to submit that work to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA as a sample of his creative approach and style.

Weissbach’s Division III faculty committee was chaired by film professor Abraham Ravett and included architecture professor Thom Long.

The Princess Grace Awards for theater, dance/choreography, and film continue the legacy of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, who anonymously helped emerging artists pursue their goals throughout her lifetime.

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA, a public charity, was formed after the death of Princess Grace in 1982. They award scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships to assist artists with career development. More foundation information

Josh Weissbach's award was presented by Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU at the Princess Grace Foundation-USA awards ceremony in New York City in fall 2008.

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