Jay Boda, a first-year doctoral student in the Museum Education and Visitor-Centered Exhibitions (MEX) program, attended the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards in New York City on December 10, 2015. Frankenstein’s Light, a short-film Jay wrote while an MFA candidate at FSU’s College of Motion Picture Arts, won in the DGA’s 21st Annual Student Film Awards for Best Asian American Student Filmmaker — the film’s director, Saad Nawab, is from India.
Frankenstein’s Light, a coming of age fantasy about a girl who rescues Frankenstein’s monster after he escapes from a movie theater, is currently making its way around the world through the film festival circuit. Earlier in November, it won Best Student Fiction Film at Cinefest in New Delhi, India. The film showed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 11th Annual International Children’s Film festival on December 12 and 13, 2015.
Jay wrote the script for Frankenstein’s Light as one of two thesis projects while attending FSU’s film school (he also had a small cameo as Dr. Frankenstein). He graduated with his MFA in screenwriting in August 2015. Jay will shoot his second thesis script, The Grasshopper Child, in Fall 2016 for the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jay explained, “It’ll help middle and high school art students learn about and demystify surrealism — and hopefully encourage them to enter the Dali Museum’s student art and film competition.” Jay compared The Grasshopper Child to “a surrealist School House Rock.”
Jay came to FSU after a career in the Air Force and earning his English degree at USF in St. Petersburg, Florida. While there, he stumbled into museum education when he took the Dali Museum’s docent class — offered at USF as a humanities course. Jay became a docent at the museum, served on the Volunteer Council as its founding historian, and won its Volunteer of the Year award in 2011. Later, Jay produced and wrote the museum’s 2013 documentary, Sharing Salvador, helping preserve the memories of long-time, influential docents. Jay also helped rewrite the museum’s Docent Training Manual by creating an interactive website with training videos which were presented at the 2013 National Docent Symposium in San Francisco.
Jay is currently putting the finishing touches on a short film he created for FSU’s Department of Art Education to to help inform and recruit MEX master and doctoral students. “My goals as a doctoral student are to intersect my passions for museum education and storytelling,” Jay said. When asked what it’s like being in the department’s new MEX program, Jay answered, “It’s all my favorite things combined. And everyone says yes. The opportunities are limitless.”