Dorian Davis, an MSA class of 2016 theatre graduate, recently played a role in an Oscar-nominated, live action short film titled “My Nephew Emmett.” The film, directed by Kevin Wilson Jr, shows a visual depiction of the accounts of Emmett Till, a fourteen year-old murdered in 1955, during the beginning era of the civil rights movement. Davis played the cousin of Till, Maurice Wright. The film was one of five 2018 Oscar-nominated live action short films.

Rachel Sherman reports from Shenandoah University, where Davis is currently a sophomore in Musical Theatre:

“I was on the stairwell outside of my residence hall and I was watching the Facebook live broadcast on the Academy Awards page. My mom was on the phone, and they started calling out the names for our category fairly quickly. I didn’t recognize that when they called our film that we were in the top five list.” He continued saying that the next several moments were filled with cheering, shouting, and tears of joy causing some of his friends to peek outside their dorm rooms and check on him.”

According to Sherman’s report on Davis, he learned of the acting role through Backstage.com, a talent-seeking agency.

Davis discovered the “My Nephew Emmett” opportunity back in December of 2016 and decided to send in some audition tapes which landed him the role. The film didn’t win the 2018 Oscars, but Davis says he hopes to work with more actors, maybe some day getting to work with Denzel Washington.

While studying at Mississippi School of the Arts, Davis was active in several clubs, maintained high academic scores and ultimately chosen for Mississippi School of the Arts’ Hall of Fame. Dorian Davis is a sound ambassador for the arts and it’s just one more example of the many talented artists coming out of the heartlands of Mississippi. We are excited to see the potential of Davis and other alumni of MSA. The future of Mississippi talent is looking bright.

Read more about the film and watch an interview with Davis by reporter Rachel Sherman at Shenandoah University: Dorian Davis ’20 in Oscar-nominated short film “My Nephew Emmett”

Dorian Davis on IMDB: View Profile



Now we rise, we fly, we shine.