Filmmaker to ‘impact in some small way’

Will Packer, a Florida A&M University graduate, will speak at this year’s homecoming convocation on Friday.

In 1996, Packer, a film producer, graduated magna cum laude from FAMU with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Instead of pursuing a career in his intended field, Packer decided to follow his interests and pursue filmmaking.

Packer is the co-founder and chair of Rainforest Films founded in 1994.

He also serves on the board of directors of Image Film and Video, a non-profit organization that reaches out and supports independent filmmakers and artist.

Many aspiring producers, like Robert Mayberry, 24, a recent FAMU graduate from Houston, look up to Packer and said that he is a positive role model.

Mayberry, also founder of Shyze Entertainment Group, said he is following the footsteps of Packer’s success.

“Everything I’m doing he did,” Mayberry said. “He’s a blue print for young black producers.”

Mayberry said he is impressed with how Packer has given back to his alma mater through his success in the film industry.

He added that he is overwhelmed at how Packer made FAMU a part of his marketing for the movie “Stomp the Yard.”

“He is an example of alumni, who gives back to FAMU.”

Many FAMU students are anxiously awaiting Packer’s visit because they have enjoyed his movies and cannot wait to hear his speech.

Clarissa Grissette, 20, a sophomore criminal justice student from Ft. Lauderdale, said she feels that Packer will be an inspiration to hear, especially since he is a FAMU graduate.

“I feel that he [Packer] will be an inspiration to hear especially since he’s a graduate from the same school I attend,” Grissette said. “I loved his movies, so I’m anticipating his speech.”

Carmen Cummings, director of alumni affairs, said she is excited that one of FAMU’s very own is coming back to speak to the younger generation of rattlers.

“I am excited one of our famous alum is delighted to come back during this time of renaissance and rebirth and I am proud to have him back on campus especially since he’ll have a new movie coming out this year,” Cummings said. “We hope he will be a great inspiration to current and younger alum.”

Packer said he feels honored to come back and speak to his university.

“I hope I’m able to impact [students] in some small way…the same way I was impacted by numerous people who shared insights while I was on the yard.”

Packer encourages students to dream big.

“Only you can stop you… don’t ever be afraid to reach beyond what is comfortable and safe,” Packer said. “The impossible is only impossible until someone does it. Why not you?”