DGA Announces Winners of 18th Annual Student Filmmakers Awards

November 2012 Screenings and Events

November 13, 2012

Los Angeles, CA – The Directors Guild of America today announced the winners of the 2012 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women directors. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional minority and women directors in film schools and select universities across the country.

“We congratulate the outstanding recipients of this year’s DGA Student Film Awards,” said DGA President Taylor Hackford. “The Guild recognizes and honors these young men and women directors who have shown exceptional talent and promise, and we hope that the attention brought by the DGA Student Film Awards will serve to both highlight their work and provide inspiration for the next generation of diverse talent in the entertainment industry.”

The 2012 winners, selected by blue ribbon DGA member panels, are:


East Region:

  • Award Winner: Talibah Newman of Columbia Univ. for Busted on Brigham Lane
  • Jury Award: Jeremy Cohan of New School for After

West Region:

  • Award Winner: Dallas King of UCLA for Most Wanted
  • Jury Award: Anthony Onah of UCLA for Dara Ju



East Region:

  • Award Winner: John Paul Su of NYU for Pagpag
  • Jury Award: Gerry Kim of Columbia Univ. for Living the Dream

West Region:

  • Award Winner: Justin Tipping of AFI for Nani
  • Jury Award: Lu Lu of USC for An Early Summer



East Region:

  • Award Winner: Francisco Lupini of NYU for El Nido Vacio (The Empty Nest)
  • Jury Award: David Figueroa Garcia of Columbia Univ. for Ratitas

West Region:

  • Award Winner: Ryan Velásquez of AFI for Ojalá
  • Jury Award: Julio O. Ramos of UCLA for Detrás del Espejo



East Region:

  • Award Winner: Emily Harrold of NYU for Reporting on The Times: The New York Times and The Holocaust
  • Jury Award: Jordan Salvatoriello of Emerson College for Graceland Girls

West Region:

  • Award Winner: Caylee So of Chapman Univ. for Paulina
  • Jury Award: Melanie Wainberg of AFI for Dr. Gutman’s Eulogy


The awards rules and procedures mandate that competing films must have been made in the 2011/2012 school year (September 2011 through August 2012), 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.

The award-winning films were screened and the awards presented in a ceremony at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 8 and will be screened and presented in a ceremony at the Directors Guild of America Theater in New York on Wednesday, November 28.


DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333