“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
TIFAH TODD 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 was born and raised in Newark, NJ and I am currently based there. I have lived on the same street since I was two years old. I have a very strong sense of love and support with the people that care for me. When I think of home I think of the culture, my friends, my adopted parents Annie Mae and Matthew. I am so grateful to have been raised by a very strong family with great work values. No matter the circumstances or the environment we lived in, I maintained to stay focused on my dreams and goals. My family has been supportive of my film journey from the very beginning.
I have a lot of pride in my hometown because growing up there, I have been blessed to have met wonderful, hardworking, and amazing people that I have learned from that have made me into the person I am today. The city continues to get better with creativity.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I find a lot of my inspiration from my surroundings and environment. I love taking from things I have seen, experiences, or topics that shine a light on impactful situations that brings change. Things that I see everyday inspire me on how I create characters and stories - on the bus, walking down the street to the store, walking outside on my porch, sitting chatting with my friends, and my own reality. I take inspiration from it all. It helps my creativity a lot. My favorite TV series right now is “Pose”. It is so amazing and the characters are so well developed. The show has me hooked to it, visually it’s very outstanding. Some of the stories are taken from real life people which is why I love it so much. I feel it makes it even more powerful and has me even more drawn into it. Taking from life experiences and putting visuals to it is very therapeutic to me.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Being at NYU Tisch Grad Film is an experience in itself. It was a dream of mine to come to NYU since I was in high school. But I was told by a counselor that I probably wouldn’t get in, so I didn’t apply. Once I graduated as an undergrad I really procrastinated for years. It wasn’t until 2017 when my mother passed where I decided to go through with it. I found the courage to apply and it was the only school I applied to. To my surprise I got accepted. So, it has really been a long time coming and a dream come true and rewarding in itself to be at NYU.
I have learned so much being at the program and I feel I’m growing as a filmmaker everyday. Meeting so many people around the world and learning and understanding their cultures is an amazing thing for me. Most importantly the Tisch program has taught me all criticism is helpful and impactful to you as a filmmaker. I will continue to work hard and learn because I know people in the program are genuinely supportive and care. Being here, I have met some great people that I can say I will cherish for the rest of my life.