Frankenheimer Fellowship Awarded to USC Film Student

Wesley Rodriguez

August 5, 2014

Student Director Wesley Rodriguez of the University of Southern California (USC), is the recipient of this year's John Frankenheimer Memorial Fellowship.

Named for the late DGA Vice President, the fellowship — established in 2003 by John’s widow Evans Frankenheimer — alternates annually between the Schools of Theater, Film & Television of both USC and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and is awarded to a graduate student majoring in film directing chosen by the directing faculty on the basis of artistic merit. The student receives $5000 from a fund established by the Frankenheimer family in 2002 and is administered by the Directors Guild Foundation.

“I’m humbled and honored to have received this year’s prestigious John Frankenheimer Fellowship," said Rodriguez. “I am always actively looking for new ways to refine my craft and with this generous support I hope to continue my studies. Having to worry less on the financial burden of school, it is truly a blessing to continue my work as a creative collaborator and filmmaker. I cannot thank the DGA and the USC School of Cinematic Arts enough for this honor.”

Before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his Master’s Degree in Film and Television Production at USC, Rodriguez grew up in South Florida where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications Production from the University of Florida in 2012. Upon graduation, he worked as a video producer and editor for the university’s Media Services Division where he focused on creating sketch comedy videos for YouTube and short films such as Cycle, a psychological story of a man’s struggle to derive meaning from nostalgic events in a laundromat.

Previous USC recipients are Jerry Chan (2004), Michael Flores (2006), Valen Hernandez (2008), David Chen (2010), and Monely Soltani (2012). Previous UCLA recipients are Mitchell Gettleman (2003), Zachary Godshall (2005), Walter Richardson (2007), Mira Lew (2009), Carlos Marques-Marcet (2011), and Vanita Shastry (2013).