DGA Announces Winners of 21st Annual Student Film Awards

DGA 21st Annual Student Film Awards

November 10, 2015

Los Angeles, CA – The Directors Guild of America today announced the winners of the 2015 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 diverse directors in film schools and select universities across the country.

“It is a true honor to bring attention to this extraordinary group of filmmakers through the 21st Annual DGA Student Film Awards,” said DGA President Paris Barclay. “Highlighting emerging talent is an important part of the DGA’s ongoing commitment to diversity and we look forward to following the careers of this promising group of directors.”

The 2015 winners, selected by blue ribbon DGA member panels, are:


West Region:

Award Winner: Meja Shoba of UCLA for Dear Pearl

Jury Award: Dehanza Rogers of UCLA for The Youth

East Region:

Award Winner: Kiel Adrian Scott of NYU for Samaria

Jury Award: Alcee H. Walker of The School of Visual Arts for Inferno


West Region:

Award Winner: Xi Guan of USC for Mandala

Jury Award: Thy Riedel of Chapman University for Long Lost

East Region:

Award Winner: Saad Nawab of Florida State University for Frankenstein’s Light

Jury Award: Yingxiang Huang of Florida State University for Isa and the Frog Prince


West Region:

Award Winner: Keegan Mullin of Chapman University for The Last Words

Jury Award: Jazmin Diaz of University of Texas at Austin for Carne Seca

East Region:

Award Winner: Michael Molina Minard of Columbia University for Standing8

Jury Award: Clara Roquet of Columbia University for El Adios


West Region:

Award Winner: Margaret Anderson of Chapman University for Casey and the Death Pool

Jury Award: Westin Ray of Chapman University for The Listening Box

East Region:

Award Winner: Federica Gianni of Columbia University for The Friend From Tel Aviv

Jury Award: Clara Maria Diez of Florida State University for A Skeleton Named Oliver

The DGA Student Film Awards have highlighted dozens of African-American, Asian-American, Latino and Women filmmakers over the years. A number of past winners have gone on to enjoy successful directing careers, including:

  • Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Justin Bieber: Never Say Never; The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers; Step Up 3D)
  • Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed)
  • Nicole Kassell (The Following; The Killing; The Americans; Suits; The Closer; Cold Case; The Woodsman)
  • Patricia Riggen (The 33; Lemonade Mouth; Under the Same Moon)
  • Sylvain White (Hawaii Five-0; Person of Interest; Covert Affairs; CSI: Miami; Stomp the Yard)

The awards rules and procedures mandate that competing films must have been made in the 2014/2015 school year (September 2014 through August 2015), 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 were not eligible. 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.

The award-winning films will be screened and the awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles on November 12, 2015 and at the Directors Guild of America Theater in New York on December 10, 2015.

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333