25th Annual DGA Student Film Awards in Los Angeles

25th Annual DGA Student Film Awards in Los Angeles

December 10, 2019

DGA Student Film Awards 2019

DGA members and their guests attended ceremonies for the 25th Annual DGA Student Film Awards. These Awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to outstanding women and ethnically diverse film students at select universities across the country.


25th Annual DGA Student Film Awards in Los Angeles

25th Annual DGA Student Film Awards in Los Angeles On December 3, the 25th Annual West Coast DGA Student Film Awards ceremony was held at the Guild’s theater complex in Los Angeles. These Awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to outstanding women and ethnically diverse film students at select universities across the country.

The evening began with an introductory message from DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees Frank Bennett Gonzalez, who reminded the audience that these awards are just one part of the Guild’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Gonzalez also revealed that the program has grown to include more than 180 schools nationwide, continuing the DGA’s efforts to recognize the talents of emerging women and people of color, supporting their entrance into the film industry and eventually into the Guild.

Taking the stage, DGA Student Film Awards Committee Chair Gil Cates, Jr. spoke about the quarter century history of these awards and reminded the audience of the dozens of now-successful directors they have recognized in the past including: Steven Caple Jr., Jon M. Chu, Ryan Coogler, Nicole Kassell and Patricia Riggen. Cates then took a moment to thank the dedicated Student Film Awards Committee members and other DGA members who served as judges of the blue-ribbon panels, then moved on to recognizing the jury award recipients.

After a screening of clips from the jury award-winning short films, Cates presented the certificates of achievement to: African American category jury award-recipient Khaled Ridgeway of USC for Night Diner; Asian American category jury award-recipient Yubo Song of California College of the Arts, San Francisco for A Winter Without Snow; Latino category jury award-recipient Samir Oliveros of AFI for Cactus Blossom and Women’s category jury award-recipient Caroline Friend of USC for Under Darkness.

After a screening of his winning short, A Rodeo Film, African American category winner Darius D. Dawson of AFI took home the award which was presented by Director/African American Steering Committee Co-Chair Carl Seaton. The award to Asian American category winner Jing Ai Ng of AFI for her film, Fleck, was presented by DGA Award-nominated and Emmy and Academy Award-winning Director Freida Lee Mock. Actor/Director Carlos Bernard presented the award to Latino category winner João Felipe Dall’Stella of AFI after a screening of his winning film, Día De Las Carpas. Women’s category award-winner Sabina Vajrača of USC took home the final prize of the evening for her film, Variables, which was presented by two-time Emmy Award-winning Director and DGA National Board Alternate Mary Lou Belli.


25th Annual DGA Student Film Awards in New York

Student Film Awards 2019The East Coast DGA Student Film Awards ceremony was held at the Guild’s New York Theater on December 10. The evening 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, Thomas presented the certificates of achievement to African American category jury award-recipient Justin Fairweather of Towson University for Dog Person, Latino category jury award-recipient Natalia Luque of Columbia University for Soy Sola and Women’s category jury award-recipient Addison Dlott of Ithaca College for Queen of the Dinosaurs: A Wrestler's Story. [Asian American category jury award-recipient Kevin Wang of New York University (Secret Lives of Asians at Night) was unable to attend.]

Eastern AD/SM/PA Council Chair and Student Film Awards judge Glenna Meeks presented the award to African American category award-winner Adewale Olukayode of Columbia University for his short film, Home. Director and Student Film Awards Judge Gary Donatelli presented the award to Asian American category award-winner Yuan Yuan Zhang of New York University for Heading South. DGA Sixth Vice President and Student Film Awards judge Lily Olszewski presented the award to Latino category award-winner Gustavo Milan of New York University for Under the Heavens. Director and Focus on Women Committee Chair Maggie Greenwald presented the award to Women’s category award-winner Kyra Gardner of Florida State University for Phoebe.

Following the screenings of the winning short films, DGA Assistant Executive Director Mary Hatch spoke about the Guild’s ongoing fight for diversity and inclusion and invited all the attendees to the reception in the lobby.


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