DGA Announces Winners of 26th Annual Student Film Awards

SFA

February 5, 2021

Los Angeles, CA – The Directors Guild of America today announced the winners of the 2020 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 universities across the country.

“Congratulations to all of the talented awardees for this year's DGA Student Film Awards,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “As part of our ongoing commitment to encouraging diversity and inclusion across the industry, we're honored to recognize these promising young filmmakers as examples of the vibrant and diverse talent coming from film schools and universities across the country. We look forward to following their careers.”


The 2020 winners, selected by blue ribbon DGA member panels, are:


Best African American Student Filmmakers

East Region

  • Award Winner: Natalie Jasmine Harris of New York University — Pure
  • Jury Award: Tramaine Raphael Gray of University of North Carolina School of the Arts — Kindred Kings

West Region

  • Award Winner: Allison A. Waite of University of Southern California — The Dope Years: The Story of Latasha Harlins
  • Jury Award: Dagmawi Abebe of University of Southern California — The Ball Method

Best Asian American Student Filmmakers

East Region

  • Award Winner: Karishma Dev Dube of New York University — Bittu
  • Jury Award: Constance Tsang of Columbia University — Beau

West Region

  • Award Winner: Olivia Hang Zhou of American Film Institute — Apart, Together
  • Jury Award: Shuang Li of University of California, Berkeley — The Long Wait

Best Latino Student Filmmakers

East Region

  • Award Winner: Esteban Garcia Vernaza of Columbia University — Silento
  • Jury Award: Mariana Saffon of Columbia University — Entre tú y Milagros

West Region

  • Award Winner: Felipe Vargas of University of Southern California — Milk Teeth
  • Jury Award: Tiffany Kontoyiannis-Guillen of University of Southern California — Welcome Back

Best Women Student Filmmakers

East Region

  • Award Winner: Shae Xu of Columbia University — Duet
  • Jury Award: Alice Aguiar of Savannah College of Art and Design — Windchimes

West Region

  • Award Winner: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone of University of Southern California — For Rosa
  • Jury Prize: Star Victoria of University of Southern California — La Ruta

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:

  • Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II; Grown-ish; Rapture; The Land)
  • Jon M. Chu (In the Heights; Home Before Dark; Crazy Rich Asians; Now You See Me 2)
  • Ryan Coogler (Black Panther; Creed; Fruitvale Station)
  • Nicole Kassell (Watchmen; Castlerock; Westworld; The Americans)
  • Patricia Riggen (Surveillance; Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan; Miracles From Heaven; The 33)
  • Sylvain White (The Rookie; Fargo; The Umbrella Academy; Amazing Stories)

Eligible films were made in the 2019/2020 school year (September 2019 through August 2020), 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 (one-year) graduate from, an accredited post-secondary institution located in the United States and selected by the DGA.

A national awards ceremony will take place virtually on Tuesday, February 9th.

Contact
Lily Bedrossian -
Executive in Charge of Public Relations
(310) 289-5334
lbedrossian@dga.org