“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
AISHA FORD IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS, AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
1. Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I grew up in Cincinnati, OH with my siblings and my father. This place will always be considered my first home. In this city, I remembered learning how to ride a bike as my father pushed me as far as he could down the sidewalk. I also remember learning how to swim from my father— he once threw me inside the deep end to join my older siblings when I, clearly, wasn’t ready. Ultimately, that day I learned how to swim. One of my favorite parts of this city was their Chess Pie—my family and I used to fight over the last slice all the time. When I was 14 years old, my family and I moved up north to Dayton, OH and…I hated it. As I got older, I started realizing that my home is wherever my family is. With them, I can let loose and be myself. I don’t have to worry about them judging me, and even if they do sometimes, it’s from a place of tough love.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
My friends! They are all very talented and I’m rooting for every single one of them. As of right now, I’m working on my feature. My goal is to continue creating authentic films about young black girls and their journeys with authenticity and multidimensionality. One of my closest mentors, Chinonye Chukwu, recently screened her award-winning feature “Clemency” in New York. This film follows an African American female prison warden as she develops an unspoken connection with a death row inmate that she must eventually execute. What I love about this film is that it roots its purpose in both art and activism. Not only that but also this film humanizes their characters. It has inspired me to create stories that dive deep into my own consciousness and share my inner emotions and world perspective.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Well, being able to crew on other student films, use NYU equipment and learn new ways to enhance my visual storytelling has all been very rewarding for me. However, the most rewarding is being able to make my own films. With every project that I do, I’m growing and honing my skills for my next project. It’s been extremely challenging—sometimes everything that can go wrong on set, will. However in the end it makes me a stronger filmmaker. I believe that NYU is only the beginning for me as I prepare for my next chapter in life. With this platform that I am given, I have to remember that my voice is important and that every story is unique.
Visit her website and follow her on Instagram (@esha_4rd)