SFA NY 2015

21st Annual DGA Student Film Awards in New York

December 10, 2015

On December 10, DGA members and their guests attended ceremonies for the 21st Annual DGA Student Film Awards in the Guild’s New York Theater. These awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to outstanding African American, Asian American, Latino and Women Filmmakers in film schools and select universities across the country.

The ceremony began with a welcome message and introductions from DGA National Vice President Vincent Misiano. Following a screening of clips from the Jury Award-winning films, Director Marilyn Agrelo presented the certificates of achievement to Asian American Jury Award recipient Yingxiang Huang of Florida State University (Isa and the Frog Prince), Latino Jury Award recipient Clara Roquet of Columbia University (El Adios), African American Jury Award recipient Alcee H. Walker of The School of Visual Arts (Inferno), and Woman Jury Award recipient Clara Maria Diez of Florida State University (A Skeleton Named Oliver).

DGA Alternate Board Member Gary Donatelli presented the trophies to Latino Student Filmmaker Award-winner Michael Molina Minard of Columbia University (Standing8) and Asian American Student Filmmaker Award-winner Saad Nawab of Florida State University (Frankenstein’s Light).The final presentations were made by Director Martha Mitchell who handed out the awards to African American Student Filmmaker Award winner Kiel Adrian Scott of NYU (Samaria) and Woman Student Filmmaker Award winner Federica Gianni of Columbia University (The Friend from Tel Aviv).

The presentations were followed by screenings of the winning short films and a reception.

The winners of each category received a prize of $2,500 from the DGA and the Jury Award recipients received an award of $1,000. The winners were selected by blue ribbon panels comprised of DGA members. These awards have highlighted dozens of African American, Asian American, Latino and Women filmmakers over the years. A number of past winners have gone on to enjoy successful directing careers, including: Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Justin Bieber: Never Say Never; The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers; Step Up 3D), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), Nicole Kassell (The Following; The Killing; The Americans; Suits; The Closer; Cold Case; The Woodsman), Patricia Riggen (The 33; Lemonade Mouth; Under the Same Moon), and Sylvain White (Hawaii Five-0; Person of Interest; Covert Affairs; CSI: Miami; Stomp the Yard).

The West Coast ceremony took place at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles on November 12.


DGA Student Film Awards rules and procedures mandate that competing films must have been made in the 2014/2015 school year (September 2014 through August 2015), and must have been produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible – animated and experimental films are not. Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent (one-year) graduate from, an accredited post-secondary institution in California or DGA-selected university offering a degree in film or television. Eligible films are those in which a student held every major crew position. Productions in which a non-student, professional or a faculty member served as cinematographer, camera operator, sound recordist, editor, lighting designer or screenwriter may be disqualified.

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