DGA Announces Winners of 8th Annual West Coast Student Filmmakers Awards

DGA Student Film Awards

October 21, 2002

Directors Guild of America President Martha Coolidge today announced the winners of the DGA 2002 Student Film Awards for African-American, Asian-American, Latino and women filmmakers. The awards, which bring the winners prizes of $2,500 from the DGA along with product grants of 2,000 feet of 16mm film provided by Kodak's Worldwide Student Film Program to the winner in each group, and 1,200 feet of 16mm film to each honorable mention, are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to outstanding minority and women film students in California film schools and other select universities. This is the eighth year the DGA Student Film Awards have been handed out.

"These Awards highlight the achievements of the outstanding minority and women film students," said Coolidge. "Their work is proof that talent, vision and ability are limited neither by ethnicity nor gender. We look forward to seeing more of their work in the future as the DGA continues its ongoing commitment to promoting diversity in the entertainment industry."

The award-winning films will be screened and the awards presented at the 2002 DGA Student Film Awards on Tuesday, November 12, 2002, at 7:30 p.m., in Theatre 1 at DGA Headquarters, 7920 Sunset Boulevard. The screenings and awards presentation are open to the public. To RSVP, please call (310) 289-2033.

The winners in each category are:


  • Winner: Sechaba Morojele - Ubuntu's Wounds - American Film Institute
  • Honorable Mention: Mateen Kemet - Silence - Chapman University


  • Winner: Grace Lee - Barrier Device - University of California Los Angeles
  • Honorable Mention: Jon Chu - Gwai Lo: The Little Foreigner - University of Southern California


  • Winner: Gerardo Naranjo Gonzalez - The Last Attack of the Beast - American Film Institute
  • Honorable Mention: Joel Juarez - Sin Azul - University of California Los Angeles


  • Winner: Tanja Mairitsch - Fueling the Fire - American Film Institute
  • Honorable Mention: Robin Larsen - Out of Habit - University of California Los Angeles

The awards rules and procedures mandate that competing films must have been made in the 2001/2002 school year (September 2001 through August 2002), and must have been produced for course credit or under the supervision of a faculty member. Dramas, documentaries and experimental films are all eligible - animated films are not. Applicants must be enrolled in or be a recent (one year) graduate from an accredited post-secondary four-year institution in California or other 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 director or screenwriter may be disqualified. Panels consisting of DGA members from the respective groups (African-American, Asian-American, Latino and women) reviewed the entries and selected the winners.

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333