23rd Annual DGA Student Film Awards in New York

23rd Annual DGA Student Film Awards in New York

December 1, 2017

On December 1, DGA members and their guests attended the ceremony for the 23rd 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 Eastern Diversity Steering Committee (EDSC) Co-Chair Joyce Thomas. Following a screening of clips from the Jury Award-winning films, Eastern Directors Council Focus on Women Committee (FOW) member Maggie Greenwald presented the certificate of achievement to African American Jury Award recipient Alcee Walker of The New School (Child Support). Latino Jury Award recipient Sebastián Pinzón Silva of Northwestern University (Palenque) was unable to attend the ceremony.

EDSC Committee member Marcus Jones presented the awards to African American Student Filmmaker Award-winner Kevin Wilson, Jr. of New York University (My Nephew Emmett) and to Woman Student Filmmaker Award-winner Raylene Jin of Columbia University (SHUAI) who was also unable to attend the ceremony.

FOW Committee member Annetta Marion presented the awards to Asian American Student Filmmaker Award-winner Sudarshan Suresh of Columbia University (Absent) and Latino Student Filmmaker Award-winner Suzanne Andrews Correa of Columbia University (La Casa de Beatriz).

Followed screenings of the winning short films, EDSC Co-Chair Alrick Brown took the podium to speak about the Guild’s ongoing fight for diversity and inclusion, and invite all the attendees to the reception in the lobby.

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 (Crazy Rich Asians; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Justin Bieber: Never Say Never; The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers; Step Up 3D)
  • Ryan Coogler (Black Panther; Creed; Fruitvale Station)
  • Nicole Kassell (The Following; The Killing; The Leftovers, The Americans; Suits; The Closer; Cold Case; The Woodsman, A Little Bit of Heaven)
  • Patricia Riggen (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan; Miracles From Heaven; The 33; Lemonade Mouth)
  • Sylvain White (Hawaii Five-0; Person of Interest; Covert Affairs; CSI: Miami; Stomp the Yard, The Losers)

The West Coast ceremony was held at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles on November 9, 2017. Click here for photos from that event.


Eligible films were made in the 2016/2017 school year (September 2016 through August 2017), and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member – with students holding every major crew position. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible – animated and experimental films are not eligible. Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent (within one year) graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution in California or DGA-selected university offering a degree in film or television.

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