Kayden Spellman works in the Farrison-Newton Communications building with the Nineteen10 Film Alliance on one of her film projects. Photo courtesy of Kayden Spellman.

NCCU student travels between filmmaking, biomedical worlds

April 24, 2024

Kayden Spellman, a N.C. Central University junior is far from a one-trick pony as she balances being a biomedical sciences major and a Nineteen10 Film Alliance member.

“I’m in two separate worlds. During the day, I go to physics, genetics, and [other] science classes,” Spellman said. “Later in the day, I typically interview somebody or film something,”

Spellman is a Charlotte native who wanted to “honor the family legacy.” Her parents and a few other family members attended NCCU.

Though, Spellman said she’s always been a science person and intrigued by genetics and anatomy.

“I’ve loved science since high school. That’s something that I always wanted to do, but I think being creative is more fulfilling right now,” she said.

Spellman said that she’s fascinated by the film editing process and wants master Adobe software. She also loves interviewing different people and telling their stories through filmmaking.

“To see a vision, you have in your head manifested into reality is amazing,” Spellman said.

Spellman recently wrapped up her first production. “International Advantage,” a film about a few international players from NCCU’s tennis program.

The film focuses on the background of the international student-athletes. It features their discovery of NCCU and their adjustment to the culture of an HBCU.

Spellman’s opportunity to join the production arose when her peers from NCCU’s Nineteen10 Film Alliance introduced her to the project.

The alliance coincided with the creation of the digital filmmaking concentration in the Mass Communication Department. It consists of storytellers that study and conduct film production throughout campus.

The alliance is pitching their production for the Coca-Cola HBCU Sports Production Grant, which awards money to HBCU journalism or media production programs centered around sports broadcasting.

Over the summer, Spellman will be working as a producer on two separate film projects. A documentary on the NCCU Textiles and Apparel Program and an unspecified short film.

Outside of filmmaking, Spellman said her greatest joy from being a biomedical sciences student is learning about how the world works and human composition. Her classmates in biomedical sciences see her as a bright student.

“Kayden is such a fun person to be around. She’s like sunshine in human form, Karissa Forrester, a biomedical sciences junior said. “You can’t be sad around her because she’s such a happy person.”

Lafi Joao, a biology junior, said that Spellman is great during the lab assignments.

“Kayden is creative, which comes out in different ways, especially through her clothing,” Joao said. “It’s cool because creativity isn’t often shown in STEM.”

After NCCU, Spellman aspires to attend Howard University. She said she likes Howard for the culture of Washington D.C., its HBCU status, and Howard’s highly ranked MFA Film Program.

At the same time, Spellman wants to earn clinical hours in a Physician Assistant Program.

“Being able to do both is the goal.”

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Kayden Spellman works in the Farrison-Newton Communications building with the Nineteen10 Film Alliance on one of her film projects. Photo courtesy of Kayden Spellman.
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Kayden Spellman works in the Farrison-Newton Communications building with the Nineteen10 Film Alliance on one of her film projects. Photo courtesy of Kayden Spellman.
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