In the film and broadcast industry, winning an Emmy is one of the highest achievements a person can reach in their career. For Champlain College students like Khellmar Daring ’26, a Filmmaking and Finance double major, that dream is one step closer to becoming a reality. He recently won the 46th Boston/New England Emmy Awards Scholarship: a prize of five-thousand dollars, recognizing the talents of college filmmaking students. This annual award is presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)—aka the Emmys (yes, that Emmys)—to one worthy college student. This year, it’s Daring.
The Boston/New England Chapter of NATAS also presents student awards for quality of student work, and this year Champlain took home Best Long Form Non-Fiction for a piece titled “Business Beyond Borders.” Champlain also was named an Honorable Mention in the Light News, Long-form Non-fiction, Short-form Fiction, Editing, and Photography.
NATAS is, as Daring describes, a very prestigious national organization with chapters all across the country that serve to recognize professionals, groups of students, and individuals. His application process focused on submitting his past, present, and future project ideas that he’s worked on either through his classes or personal work.
He attributes his win partially to the Upside-Down Curriculum that Champlain employs. Working on real films and other projects from the get-go was the experience that really impressed the judges and led to him winning the scholarship. Throughout his time at Champlain thus far, he has been able to build a portfolio, and says, “getting that hands-on learning and applying it in classes gives you pieces that you are able to then use.”
Daring’s humility shines through as he describes his reaction to his own win.
“I thought it was a scam, because they sent me an email, and they’re like ‘Oh, you won,’ and I was like ‘You’re lying to me.’ But, I was very taken aback, and I was really happy.”
He’s worked on a few documentaries and student stories for Champlain College’s Marketing Department, as well as a few short films of his own. His motivation comes from the joy he gets when he finally sees these finished products and being able to look back at what he’s done with pride.
His passion for filmmaking blossomed when Daring was just a young boy, when he moved from Jamaica to Winooski, VT. His childhood was marked by a love of creating and writing stories, and his move to Winooski allowed him to participate in art classes and explore his talents. It wasn’t until high school that he became interested in editing and how he could blend it with his other artistic talents. He found he could use film to create the art he wanted.
When it came time to start looking at colleges, he was aiming for a place that could provide all the experience he wanted—internships, abroad opportunities, and certain classes that address his interests head-on. Champlain checked all the boxes. The fact that it was so close to home only made it more appealing to Daring, who has since gone on to add a double major in Finance. Having grown up in a single-parent, immigrant household, finances were very much a part of his life, and something he took interest in as early as high school. Now, he hopes to explore more about personal finance through his second major as he endeavors in film and entrepreneurship.
He values the hands-on experiences Champlain provides—especially with the Upside-Down Curriculum—but he values his professors even more. Filmmaking Professor John Rasmussen and Finance Professor Fritz Burkhardt are two of his advisors who have made his academic career and film career all the more successful.
In fact, Daring says Rasmussen was the one who suggested he apply for the NATAS scholarship: “On top of that, he’s just been really good and insightful in and out of my classes. He lets me know about opportunities that are happening and events that I should go to,” he says.
With his time left at Champlain, Daring hopes to go abroad to South Korea through the Freeman Grant, which he notes is where Filmmaking Program Director Julia Swift has filmed some documentaries. He wants to complete a few internships and get as much experience as he can.
“I’m really grateful that I won the scholarship, and I’m very thankful for my advisors.”