DGA Announces Winners of 11th Annual Student Filmmakers Awards

DGA Student Film Awards

October 27, 2005

LOS ANGELES, CA — Directors Guild of America President Michael Apted today announced the winners of the DGA 2005 Student Filmmakers Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and women filmmakers. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to outstanding minority and women film students in California film schools and other select universities across the country. Prizes of $2,500 from the DGA along with a product grant valued at $1,000 provided by Kodak's Worldwide Student Film Program are awarded to the winner in each group, and a product grant valued at $500 is awarded to each honorable mention. This is the eleventh year the DGA Student Film Awards have been handed out.

“The DGA Student Filmmakers Awards provide the Guild with an opportunity to bring attention to emerging director talent and to encourage diversity of race, gender and spirit in the filmmaking community,” Apted said in announcing the winners. “These individuals represent the best in student filmmaking today and we look forward to seeing more of their work in the near future.”

The 2005 winners, selected by panels consisting of DGA members from the respective groups (African American, Asian American, Latino and women), are:


  • Winner: Ya’Ke Smith of the University of Texas at Austin for Hope’s War
  • Honorable Mention: Andre Mallette, Jr. of UCLA for Closer


  • Winner: Jenn Kao of the UCLA for Outside


  • Winner: Cristy Paez of Florida State University for My Golden Cage
  • Honorable Mention: Veronica Shamo-Garcia of the USC for De Las Calles


  • Winner: Jennifer Arzt of Florida State University for Cake
  • Honorable Mention: Susan Bell of Florida State University for The Resurrectionist

The awards rules and procedures mandate that competing films must have been made in the 2004/2005 school year (September 2004 through August 2005), 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.

The award-winning films will be screened and the awards presented at the 2005 DGA Student Film Awards on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 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) 289-5311.

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333