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Meet the Young Woman Whose Debut Film Won ESSENCE's 2016 Short Film Contest

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Actress Thais Francis speaks onstage during the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 25, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo Credit: Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE

Trinidad and Tobago native Thais Francis is the 2016 winner of ESSENCE's annual Short Film Contest

At the ninth annual Black Women in Hollywood celebratory luncheon, the young filmmaker expressed just how grateful she is for the love and support that comes from a platform of visibility. “Before I wrote this film, I had never written a screenplay in my life but I went to the Brooklyn Public Library every day for weeks on end and taught myself how to tell a story because I believed that I could do it,” shared Francis.

See her incredibly moving acceptance speech.

Watch the trailer for Late Expectations here, and visit the film's website for more information on the project.