SA actress wins award at New York 48HFP


SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Nicola Quinn, a young South African actress who
moved to New York to pursue a career in the US industry recently participated in
the New York 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP), which kicked off on 29 May. The film
she performed in, The Back Up Singer was produced by Eclectic
Productions and earned Quinn the award for Best Actress. In addition the film won
the Best Screenplay award (Christopher Affonco Bradley), and Best Supporting
Actor award (Brendan Burke). The 48HFP, which runs in various cities around the
world, challenges entrants to write, shoot, edit and deliver a short film in 48 hours.

“A producer I’d been chatting to about another job contacted me about three days
prior to the festival. He said he was taking part and wanted me in it,’ explains
Quinn who had never participated in the competition before.

Part of the 48HFP challenge involves filmmakers drawing a random character, prop
and line of dialogue which must be incorporated in their film. The Backup
is a comedy about a kidnapping gone terribly wrong involving: Hugh
Lawson, a Musician (character); grapes (prop); and “He said he’d be here…’ (line of

Key crew and cast members included director Nick Catania, producer Brian
Sachson, writer Christopher Affonco Bradley, assistant director Kevin Pazmino and
actors Larry Mitchel and Brendan Burke.

Of her win, Quinn says she was completely surprised, “This was my first project in
New York city and an official “get back on the horse’ moment so it was truly
serendipitous for a random South African like me to receive the Honoree Award for
Acting. It was a very nice nod of approval from above.’

She adds that participating in the 48HFP is an experience all filmmakers should
have, “It was such a wonderful reminder of how a little bit of pressure goes a long
way. Sometimes we creative-folk get so stuck in the details we forget we are
making art and with that we have to keep our brushes wet.’

According to Quinn the acting scene in New York is not all that different to back
home in South Africa. “Word on the street is that it is all the same… actors wait,
people don’t show up, lights don’t always turn on and I guess making movies is
about overcoming these obstacles,’ she comments. “What I will say is that there is
so much happening here, even if it’s not all picture perfect (some TV commercials
which air at prime time are horrendous!). If I’ve learnt anything so far it’s to just
get stuck in and “grow with it.’’


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