Student filmmakers from USC and Columbia University led the way with three wins each at this year’s DGA Student Film Awards honoring African-American, Latino, Asian-American and female directors. Students from UCLA and Chapman University each won two awards, which are designed to encourage and bring attention to exceptional diverse directors in film schools and select universities from across the country.
USC students Sanford Jenkins (A Craftsman), Mei LiYing (Cocoon) and Gisele Tong (Spring Flower) were named Western region award winners in the African-American, Asian American and women student filmmakers’ categories, respectively
Columbia University students Sudarshan Suresh (Absent), Suzanne Andrews Correa (La Casa de Beatriz) and Raylene Jin (SHUAI) were named Eastern region award winners in the Asian-American, Latino and female student filmmakers’ categories, respectively.
“We’re honored to shine a spotlight on these talented new filmmakers through the DGA Student Film Awards, and we congratulate this year’s exceptional recipients,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “Now in its 23rd year, this program is an important part of our efforts encouraging greater inclusion in the entertainment industry, and we’re proud that a number of our past winners have gone on to find success as film and television directors. We look forward to seeing what’s next for this talented group.”
UCLA student Annie Pace (Beyond the Gate) won the Western region award for best Latino student filmmaker, and UCLA’s Meedo Taha (The Incident) won the Jury Award in the same category.
Chapman University’s Lane Lyle (Distress) won the Jury Award in the Western region for best African-American student filmmaker, and Chapman’s Amanda Renee (Night Call) won the Jury Award in the Western region for best female student filmmaker.
AFI’s Michael Chan (Marc Chung Protects His Address) won the Jury Award in the Western region for best Asian-American student filmmaker; New York University’s Kevin Wilson (My Nephew Emmett) was the award winner in the Eastern region for best African-American student filmmaker, and the New School’s Alcee H. Walker (Child Support) won the Jury Award in the same category. Northwestern University’s Sebastián Pinzón Silva (Palenque) won the Jury Award in the Eastern region for best Latino student filmmaker.
The DGA Student Film Awards have highlighted dozens of African-American, Asian-American, Latino and female filmmakers over the years, a number of whom have gone on to enjoy successful directing careers, including Jon M. Chu, Ryan Coogler, Nicole Kassell, Patricia Riggen and Sylvain White.