On Aug. 12, 2018, University of Rhode Island sophomore Alyssa Botelho received the Brownell Scholarship at the Rhode Island International Film Festival for her achievements in film.

Adam Roth, associate dean of the Harrington School of Communication and Media, urged Botelho to apply for the scholarship. Roth believed she had a very good chance at winning.

“She’s a wonderful young person,” Roth said. “We have a lot of wonderful young people on campus but she stands out in a variety of ways.”

Attending the festival turned out to be a very positive experience for her, as she was able to meet several filmmakers from various backgrounds, as well as network with them.

“As filmmakers, we have the same way of thinking,” Botelho said. “Talking to them and watching their films, I got it.”

Botelho is a sophomore, majoring in film media and business management from Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Her interest in film began her freshman year of high school when she took a video production class and immediately fell in love with the art form as a whole.

Her love for film and video work led her to start her own wedding video company called Unforgettable Productions. Botelho started the company during her junior year of high school when a close friend ran into a conflict videotaping a wedding. Botelho’s friend offered her the job and she took it. Working on wedding videos has influenced Botelho in many positive ways.

“It’s really made me confident in my abilities,” Botelho said. “If you can do a wedding shoot, you can do anything.”

One of Botelho’s biggest film inspirations was Alfred Hitchcock. She loves Hitchcock’s ability to tell stories and make thought-provoking films. Her inspirations are what really brought her into filmmaking, making her extremely invested in the process.

“I’m a huge perfectionist so I put in hours and hours of planning,” Botelho said. “I’ll just keep planning and planning. It eats up all of my time. It’s really easy as an artist to get into a rut and be okay with that. You have to constantly make yourself uncomfortable.”

Botelho is currently interning with Bristol County Media on their newly announced documentary, “The Highway Murders.” The project is a brand new documentary series about a set of unsolved highway murders in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1988.