DGA Announces Winners of 23rd Annual Student Film Awards

23rd Annual DGA Student Film Awards

December 1, 2017

Los Angeles, CA – The Directors Guild of America today announced the winners of the 2017 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.

 “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.”

The 2017 winners, selected by blue ribbon DGA member panels, are:

Best African American Student Filmmakers:

West Region

  • Award Winner: Sanford Jenkins of USC for A Craftsman
  • Jury Award: Lane Lyle of Chapman University for Distress

East Region

  • Award Winner: Kevin Wilson, Jr. of New York University for My Nephew Emmett
  • Jury Award: Alcee H. Walker of The New School for Child Support

Best Asian American Student Filmmakers:

West Region

  • Award Winner: Mei LiYing of USC for Cocoon
  • Jury Award: Michael Chan of AFI for Marc Chung Protects His Address

East Region

  • Award Winner: Sudarshan Suresh of Columbia University for Absent

Best Latino Student Filmmakers:

West Region

  • Award Winner: Annie Pace of UCLA for Beyond the Gate
  • Jury Award: Meedo Taha of UCLA for The Incident

East Region

  • Award Winner: Suzanne Andrews Correa of Columbia University for La Casa de Beatriz
  • Jury Award: Sebastián Pinzón Silva of Northwestern University for Palenque

Best Women Student Filmmakers:

West Region

  • Award Winner: Gisele Tong of USC for Spring Flower
  • Jury Award: Amanda Renee Knox of Chapman University for Night Call

East Region

  • Award Winner: Raylene Jin of Columbia University for SHUAI

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 (Crazy Rich Asians; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Justin Bieber: Never Say Never; The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers; Step Up 3D)
  • Ryan Coogler (Black Panther; Creed; Fruitvale Station)
  • Nicole Kassell (The Following; The Killing; The Leftovers; The Americans; Suits; The Closer; Cold Case; The Woodsman; A Little Bit of Heaven)
  • Patricia Riggen (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan; Miracles from Heaven; The 33; Lemonade Mouth)
  • Sylvain White (Hawaii Five-0; Person of Interest; Covert Affairs; CSI: Miami; Stomp the Yard; The Losers)

Eligible films were made in the 2016/2017 school year (September 2016 through August 2017), and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member – with students holding every major crew position. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible – animated and experimental films are not eligible. Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent (within one year) graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution in California or DGA-selected university offering a degree in film or television

West Region award-winning films were screened as part of the awards presentation ceremony at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles on November 9, 2017. (click here for photos from that event) The East Region screenings and ceremony will take place at the Directors Guild of America Theater in New York this evening.

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333