Teen director, writer, actor and high school, honor roll student, Dusan Brown has been named one of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Brown, to be celebrated in the Arts, is a rising, talented director, writer as well as actor, and graduates from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) this week. LACHSA, the nation’s #1 public arts high school, has brought to us such famous alumni as Jenna Elfman, Marla Sokoloff, Josh Groban, Terran Killam, Zoey Deutch and Emmy nominated actor Anthony Anderson to name a few. Brown is one of 161 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, technical expertise, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ program. Chosen for the Distinguished Teacher recognition by Brown is Drew McClellan, Cinematic Arts Department Chair, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in Los Angeles, California. The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer as public health circumstances permit.
Brown’s short film, REECE, where he served as writer, director, co-DP, editor, colorist and is featured in, was originally created as a submission for his high school’s annual Moondance Film Festival, last year. To date, this project has allowed him to become a 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Winner (Arts – Film), a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation Winner (Film), as well as a Gold Level YoungArts Winner, $10,000 – presented to as few as five, as many as 13 over the past several years. In addition, over the past year, Reece won five (5) film festivals: Winner Best Short Film at WILDsound DIVERSITY Film Festival (Toronto), Winner Best Student Film at Alexander Valley Student Showcase (Northern Sonoma), Winner Best Film – Spark Award at All American H.S. Film Fest (NYC), Winner Best Student Film at Indie Short Fest (Los Angeles), and Winner Best Cinematography at Moondance Film Festival (Los Angeles). Since July 2019 Reece received 14 nominations and was officially selected into 13 festivals such as Sacramento International Film Festival, Westflix Film Fest, Baltimore Black International Film Fest, San Diego International Kids’ Film Fest, LA Shorts International Film Fest and San Francisco Frozen International Film Fest, to name a few.
Brown can next be seen in a strong supporting role starring opposite Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, in the Netflix movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (TBD 2020) and has committed to one of the country’s top ranked film schools, Chapman University where he will pursue his BFA in Film Production with a concentration on directing and writing.
Brown has written several features with plans to film his first one summer 2021. His newest shorts, which he wrote and directed, Cereal and Trash will both debut via LACHSA’s 1st Virtual Film Festival and Brown’s award-winning, 10 minute film, REECE debuted June 10th on the official Dusan Smith website.