Trinidad and Tobago-native Thais Francis has been crowned as the winner of ESSENCE’s third-annual short film contest.
Her film, Late Expectations, follows a young woman woman who must choose between her first love and her best friend while holding onto a deep secret.
“I chose this film because it felt like pages ripped from a filmmakers diary,” said actress and producer Lena Waithe, who was one of this year’s judges. “There was something so potent about it—it stayed with me long after I finished watching it. This short was a breath of fresh air, and the filmmaker should be very proud.”
Waithe joined Will Packer, Courtney Kemp Agboh, Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Effie Brown, Numa Perrier and Gina Prince-Bythewood on this year’s judges panel.
Francis was recognized during this year’s Black Women in Hollywood ceremony, where she was presented with the Discovery Award.
Watch the trailer for Late Expectations below, and visit the film’s website for more information on the project.