Harrington School alum scores two college Emmys for student film

A film produced as part of a senior capstone project has earned a URI Film/Media alum two college Emmy awards from National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ New England Chapter.

Alyssa Botelho, a 2021 graduate, won Best Director and Best Short Film Emmys for “To Dust All Return,” a drama she wrote and directed, which premiered in May, 2021. Botelho received her Emmys at a ceremony held June 14, 2022 in Boston.

“It’s really an honor for my film to be recognized by such a noteworthy organization,” Botelho said of her awards. “For about 6 months I was eating, breathing, and sleeping To Dust All Return, always with the goal to create an authentic-feeling escape for viewers into this 18th century world. Winning awards was never on my mind. It’s the cherry on top.”

Set in New England in the year 1710, the film tells the story of a young woman accused of witchcraft by a powerful man.

“It explores the blurred lines between good and evil and the length someone will go to make things ‘right’ again,” Botelho said. “I wanted to make this film to showcase a realistic, strong female character. History is filled with incredible women who have outwitted themselves out of situations where they were stripped of power.

Botelho said her experience in the Harrington School for Communication and Media played a key role in the film’s success.

“Great collaboration is what makes great films, and I am so thankful to URI for providing me with talented, dedicated, friendly collaborators who I’ve added to my core filmmaking team,” Botelho said. “Together we make well-crafted films and have fun doing it — it can’t get much better than that.”

Since graduating, Botelho says she’s been working as a production assistant, a producer’s assistant and a script doctor. She has several screenwriting projects underway, including a feature-length version of “To Dust All Return.”