SUNY Potsdam Student ChaRon Brabham Wins Oscar Experience Talent Search

Brooklyn Native to Present Oscar Statuettes at Academy Awards this Sunday

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View ChaRon Brabham’s winning entry in the “Oscar Experience Talent Search” contest.

POTSDAM, NY (02/19/2013)(readMedia)-- State University of New York at Potsdam student ChaRon Brabham has been named the first place winner in the national "Oscar Experience Talent Search," sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU.

The aspiring SUNY Potsdam filmmaker from Brooklyn, N.Y., won top honors for her video entry. Entrants had to submit a 30-second video answering the question, "How will you contribute to the future of movies?"

Brabham, a junior theatre major who is also a student ambassador for the College's admissions office, submitted a black and white short film.

"As an aspiring film director, I have plans to both educate and broaden horizons for the future of children, showing them that life isn't always so easy, but that greatness will always be attainable if you work towards your dreams," she said. "For me, film is a continuous change, but always goes back to those big ideas. I want to take those ideas and make them blossom like flowers, into a new era of film."

Along with the other five contest winners, Brabham will appear live on stage to deliver Oscar statuettes to ceremony presenters at the Academy Awards on Oscar Sunday, Feb. 24.

The winners are:

  • ChaRon Brabham from SUNY Potsdam (NY) – Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Jennifer Brofer from the University of Texas at Austin (TX) – Hometown: Austin, Texas
  • Abe Diaz from DePaul University (IL) – Hometown: Duluth, Minn.
  • Hearin Ko from Emerson College (MA) – Hometown: Shanghai, China
  • Tatenda Mbudzi from UCLA (CA) – Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
  • AJ Young from Columbia College Chicago (IL) – Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.

The winners were individually notified by show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

"We created this contest when we came on board to produce this year's Oscars," said Zadan and Meron. "We felt that every person on the Oscar stage should have a passion for film and its future, and there is no better way to inspire young filmmakers than to make them part of film's most important night."

The winners' videos can be viewed at

United Airlines, the official airline sponsor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and of the 2013 Academy Awards telecast, will roll out the red carpet to fly the winners to Los Angeles for their Oscar Experience.

In addition to their appearance on the Oscar stage, the students will be treated to film industry experiences including a visit to The Academy Library to see its renowned memorabilia collections; studio tours; and a meet and greet with this year's Academy Award Nominees in the Short Film category.

Samsung Galaxy, proud sponsor of the Oscars, will be providing each winner with a Samsung Galaxy Note® II to document their experience. The behind-the-scenes stories of the College Presenters will be seen on and Samsung social sites.

Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane. The Oscar presentation will be televised live on the ABC Television Network and in more than 225 countries worldwide. For more information go to or download the official Oscars app.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam's arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community. To learn more, visit