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SOC Alum Nominated for HBO Short Film Award

Quamé Hamlin, SOC/MFA ‘21, was selected as one of the five finalists for the 2023 HBO Short Film Award through the American Black Film Festival.

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Quamé Hamlin at the 26th ABFF HBO Showcase

American University School of Communication (AU SOC) alum Quamé Hamlin, SOC/MFA ‘21, was selected as one of the five finalists for the 2023 HBO Short Film Award through the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). This is the 26th year for the HBO Short Film Award, which is now regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the world.     

After completing his degree capstone at SOC, Hamlin worked with Lori Felton, the AU assistant director of merit awards, in order to attain a grant that allowed him to continue to improve and refine the project. Hamlin described the grant as the “seed funding” that allowed him to move from script to production. The resulting short film “Recovery Chain,” has won numerous awards, such as the SHIFT Creative FUND award (2021), and has been nominated for nine others.     

Recovery Chain, Quame Hamlin
Recovery Chain

Quamé Hamlin (Writer, Director, Producer)

The film follows a rebellious teen who gets suspended from school and his tough-love mother kicks him out of the apartment. He is then forced to move in with his father and confront their relationship. Hamlin’s motivation for the captivating film was to explore real thoughts on forgiveness and love, “I wanted to do a blue-collar story that in many ways paid homage to my hometown,” he said, Hamlin also wanted to “explore dynamics of a black family in a way that is not often seen in cinema.” He said his goal was to create a film that people could relate to, and his success suggests he’s achieved it.   

While Hamlin did not win the HBO Short Film award, the connections he has made throughout the process are opening doors for him. According to Hamlin, “Winning was just being there.” He was able to create a new community of friends and colleagues that continue to uplift one another and has had several offers to further collaborate. Hamlin is taking advantage of these opportunities and is starting production on another film which he hopes to have done by the end of summer 2023.