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TFS Names Roopali Ramesh Kumar as Inaugural Winner of BMO BIPOC Creative Achievement Award

Roopali Ramesh Kumar

Roopali Ramesh Kumar has been named the inaugural recipient of Toronto Film School’s recently launched BIPOC Creative Achievement Award.

Presented in partnership with BMO, the new award – which recognizes one full-time BIPOC student with a $1,250 award towards their tuition each quarter – is aimed at contributing to the diversity of the workforce in Canada’s creative industry by helping students who identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour complete their programs.

Kumar, a fifth-term Film Production student, said she was truly honoured to be named the first-ever recipient of the BIPOC Creative Achievement Award.

“Receiving these funds not only empowers me to pursue my passion for post-production, but also accelerates a significant milestone in my quest for professional growth,” she said.

“With relentless determination and endless gratitude for the opportunities afforded to me, I am strongly aligned toward navigating my way to success after, because of and courtesy of Toronto Film School.”

Roopali on set

Kumar’s application impressed the award’s selection committee – which consisted of Jahvon Hanson, TFS’s Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Jessica Lorette, Director of Student Services, and Mercedes Cardella, Director of Curriculum Design – on a number of different fronts.

“While reviewing Roopali’s application, I was thrilled to learn about her passion for continuous learning and development – but also – her desire to use her knowledge and skills to positively impact her family and community at-large,” said Hanson. “I am looking forward to what Roopali is able to accomplish in her career and community”.

“Not only is Roopali humble for the support of her family and friends, she also has a clear vision of her plans beyond graduation and recognizes how TFS provided the skills, passion, and growth for her to pursue her passion for postproduction,” added Lorette.

As she prepares to graduate at the end of next term, Kumar called her time at Toronto Film School “nothing short of transformative” thus far – a recent revelation that occurred to her upon revisiting the studio where her TFS journey began.

“I couldn’t help but marvel at the growth and evolution I have undergone in just one year. What started as a starry-eyed ambition to claim Oscar-worthy titles has evolved into a profound understanding of the multifaceted world of filmmaking that is defined by anything but awards,” she said.

“I have come to appreciate the intricacies and value of personal relationships, the importance of networking, and the invaluable lessons learned on set.”

Roopali Ramesh Kumar

As an international student from India, Kumar said the financial commitment required to study abroad served as a constant reminder of her responsibility to make the most of every opportunity presented her throughout the course of her studies at TFS – a responsibility she continues to take very seriously as she prepares to graduate.

“It keeps me on my feet, sharp, keen, and hungry. I’m an incredibly driven individual with a high level of consciousness and awareness, and I stand here today because of the support of an entire village,” she said.

“In no way am I here by myself. I’m here because of my family and the trust and belief of my friends. I am indebted to them and make my journey valuable to them. My path has ignited within me an unyielding resolve to illuminate their lives with pride and joy through my achievements.”

Bolstered by her extensive background in photography and design, as well as the hands-on experience she’s gained as a director of photography on several student projects during her time at TFS, Kumar recently decided to direct her future focus towards “the intricacies” of the post-production sector.

With a special interest in visual post-production, she said she’s set her post-graduation sights on becoming a technical expert in visual effects, while continuing to explore her interests in other facets such as picture editing, sound editing, and sound design.

 “Under the guidance of esteemed professors like Grant Cronyn, I have delved into the complexities of the field and uncovered my niche,” Kumar said.

“The allure of visual effects, for me, lies in its boundless opportunities, especially in Canada, and I am sincerely committed to honing my skills to become a trailblazer in the industry. My aspirations extend beyond mere job opportunities; I intend to work and contribute to Canada’s immense storytelling capacity and potential.”

Applications for this term’s BMO BIPOC Creative Achievement Award are now open! Apply today at https://mytfs.ca/my-tfs-on-campus/bipoc-creative-achievement-award/

Cynthia Reason

Cynthia Reason (she/her) is a former newspaper journalist turned communications professional who currently works as Toronto Film School’s Manager of Communications. Prior to joining TFS, she spent 13 years working as a reporter for Torstar/Metroland Media Toronto, writing for publications including Toronto.com, the Etobicoke Guardian, and the Toronto Star, among others. Her byline has also appeared in the National Post. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Humber College.


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