Jeffery earns Alumni Association’s Early Achiever Award
calendar icon18 May 2018
Lincoln, Neb.--Independent filmmaker Alexander Jeffery (B.A./B.F.A. 2011) was the recipient of the Nebraska Alumni Association’s Early Achiever Award in May.
Established in 2011, the Early Achiever Award honors one outstanding young graduate from each University of Nebraska–Lincoln college.
“My first response to hearing the news was, ‘What exactly did I do to deserve this?!’ Jeffery said. “You know, it came at an interesting time. I received the letter in the mail, and my grandfather, who has been incredibly influential in my life, was lying on his death bed. He died later that evening, and I got to tell him over FaceTime that I received the award.”
Jeffery said it was an honor to be recognized.
“Being back in Lincoln was a wonderful experience,” he said. “There is that great song in ‘Avenue Q,’ ‘I Wish I Could Go Back to College,’ and when I was walking around the campus, I definitely felt that. It’s cool to see how much Lincoln has developed since I left.”
Born in Canada and raised in Arkansas, Jeffery graduated from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film with degrees in both theatre performance and film and new media. He has worked professionally in Los Angeles, New York, Nebraska and Sweden.
In 2015, he received the prestigious Louisiana Film Prize for his film, “The Bespoke Tailoring of Mister Bellamy.” It was also shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival, Omaha Film Festival, Breckenridge Film Festival, and Oxford Film Festival, among others.
In 2016, he directed “Memoir,” an award-winning short film starring Cailey Fleming from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film has played at major sci-fi festivals, including FilmQuest in Utah, where it was nominated for Best Sci-Fi Short Film. It also has more than 100,000 views on DUST.
“Filmmaking is an amalgamation of all the art forms,” Jeffery said. “Performance, dance (sometimes), writing, music, visual art, sound, lighting, photography, etc. I love seeing each individual piece of the puzzle fall into place to create something new. At the end of the day, you are making these projects to be seen by an audience, and there is absolutely nothing like sitting in a theatre and watching the hard work of so many people affect an individual. When people come up to me and say they were moved by something I was a part of, there is no feeling like it.”
He describes his experience in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film as “amazing.”
“As with any project or class or whatever, there are times where you doubt yourself and wonder if you’re ever going to be able to get through it,” Jeffery said. “But I was surrounded by peers and faculty that enhanced my belief in myself and pushed me past what I thought I could do.”
Jeffery continues to stay busy and is at work on his next film.
“It’s about a young girl in 1950’s Louisiana who gets swindled out of an Edgar Degas painting and goes back for what is rightfully hers,” he said. “Degas is the only French impressionist who ever spent time in the U.S., and he came to New Orleans, Louisiana, of all places. We are also developing ‘Memoir’ into a feature-length project, and I’m producing a feature-length horror film at the end of the year.”
He has a lasting memory of his time at Nebraska.
“I remember my very first class,” Jeffery said. “Standing in a circle with the people I was going to spend the next four years with and thinking, ‘This is where I belong right now.’ The shoe fit. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”