By Shane Donglasan
Nick Manting-Brewer ‘08 has come a long way since first picking up a camcorder at 10 years old. Now based in Los Angeles, Brewer has found success in the film industry telling stories across various genres and platforms.
Since graduating New College in 2012 with a degree in anthropology, he received a MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and co-founded the production company Standard Deviations, where he develops documentary short films.
A recent projects he directed, “Lumpkin, GA,” has been making the film festival rounds this year. It has been selected to screen at the Indie Grits Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival and North West Fest. The documentary explores the complicated relationship between the small town of Lumpkin, Georgia, and a nearby private immigration prison.
On May 9, the film will make its television debut on the PBS series “Reel South.” Now in its fourth season, the series features independent documentary films about the people, culture, landscape and history of the American south. “Reel South” can be found on local PBS stations.
“The one thing that I hope people realize after seeing the film is that it’s not just a story about immigration, but also poverty in America,” Brewer said. “I think part of the reason why [the people of Lumpkin] were so open to being interviewed was that for so long they felt like nobody cared what they thought. There’s this plight in small towns throughout rural America where people feel left behind and it’s an isolating experience, just like the immigration system is an inherently isolating experience.”
Brewer began to hone his filmmaking skills as a student at New College. He said his background in visual anthropology laid the groundwork for his storytelling process.
“I had always been interested in documentary and specifically highlighting human rights issues,” he said. “Anthropology allowed my to really appreciate the kind of filmmaking I wanted to pursue, but also to be able to evaluate it critically. I think that’s something I might not have gained if I had pursued another degree program elsewhere.”
— Shane Donglasan is the marketing writer/project coordinator at New College of Florida.