Steven Caple Jr. screens his film for BW students and faculty

Steven Caple Jr. claimed the prize for Outstanding First Screenplay at the 2017 Black Reel Awards for "The Land," and is now working a project for HBO.

BW Graduate Accepts New HBO Project Amid Feature Film's Enduring Success

February 15, 2017

Caple with cast and collaborators on The LandFor his Cleveland-centric film, "The Land," Baldwin Wallace graduate Steven Caple Jr. ’10 has claimed the prize for Outstanding First Screenplay at the 17th Annual Black Reel Awards.

With another high profile project in the works, Caple is on his way to the career that he’s always dreamed of and national acclaim as an emerging filmmaker.

Trio of Black Reel Nominations

Black Reel Awards logoIn the midst of the current awards season, "The Land" is not forgotten. The film earned three Black Reel nominations, a award that holds immense value for the Cleveland native.

Nominated for "Outstanding Independent Feature," "Outstanding Emerging Filmmaker" and "Outstanding First Screenplay," Caple’s feature film stood against strong African American independent films in each of the categories. The results were revealed in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Pairing with HBO in Next Step

Building on that success, Caple’s next career step pairs him with HBO to write the upcoming miniseries on the life and story of Emmett Till. The story of 14-year-old Till’s brutal and violent death marks an important event in the Civil Rights Movement. Caple will take the script’s inspiration from Devery Anderson’s book "Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement."

Just as "The Land" had its own A-list presence, which included the music of Nas, Erykah Badu and Machine Gun Kelly, Caple will work with a star-studded group on the HBO project. The miniseries will be produced by A-listers Will Smith, Jay-Z, Casey Affleck and Aaron Kaplan.

Caple is also serving as a fellow in the new Sundance FilmTwo Initiative, where he is developing and writing a film alongside Sundance Lab advisors and NBCUniversal. 

Keeping the Baldwin Wallace Connection

Steven Caple Jr. screens his film for BW students and facultyThough busy with a variety of projects, Caple made time to return to the BW campus in the fall for a private screening of The Land” and an hour-long Q&A session with students and faculty. BW was also his home base while shooting "The Land" in Northeast Ohio.

Following his graduation from BW, Caple attended University of Southern California’s M.F.A. Program at the School of Cinematic Arts, where his senior project film, "A Different Tree," garnered high praise, recognition and pick-up by HBO. 

It's no wonder Caple was named one of The 25 Best Breakthrough Directors of 2016 by The Playlist, and one of the most interesting people of 2016 by Cleveland Magazine.