The 2023 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Student Production Awards took place this month, and University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) senior Babacar Ba (BFA Acting, ’24) collected the award in the category of Outstanding College Talent Performer, marking a first-time Acting win for the University of Arizona.
Ba was awarded for his leading role in Deserted, the short film directed and co-written by Ryan Ramsey (BFA Film & Television, ’23) and produced by Kaila Hines (BA Film & Television, ’23). Deserted debuted earlier this year at I Dream in Widescreen, where Ba’s portrayal of a rock climber fighting for his life earned the Monte Ralstin Award for Excellence in Acting.
TFTV was also represented in the category of College Fiction Short Form. Film & Television Production students Rene Marcelle and Fiona Paskoff earned a nomination for their dark comedy Opening Night.
“First of all it’s just an honor to even be nominated by the NATAS,” said Babacar. “I want to give a huge shout out to Ryan and Kaila for the opportunity to be part of their spectacular film Deserted. I was very happy to represent TFTV alongside fellow nominees Rene and Fiona. This award is truly an honor and l want to again thank the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards. To me this award has been a huge landmark in my career in theatre and just in my life in general. I’ve been thinking a lot about what was going through my head before I decided to fully commit to pursuing a career within the arts, and it’s just a wonderful feeling to have some concrete proof that what I’ve been doing is working.”
“I would like to thank Babacar for his incredible portrayal of Richard in my film Deserted, as well as to give him a huge congratulations for his NATAS win,” Deserted director Ryan Ramsey added. “I remember when Babacar first performed an excerpt from the script in his audition, Kaila and I were both left speechless. His performance gave us goose bumps. Throughout the film Babacar exerted his all. His energy and enthusiasm carried us through even the hardest of shoot days. He is truly an incredible person and actor, and I cannot wait to see his talent continue to shine in the future.”