The Directors Guild of America announced the winners of the 2021 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian, Latino and female directors on Wednesday. USC students won four of the awards in total, followed by AFI and UCLA students with two wins each.
The awards spotlight diverse student filmmakers from film schools and universities across the country, dividing each of the four categories into eastern and western regions. Winners in each category will receive a $2,500 prize from the DGA.
“We are so honored to shine a light on the next generation of filmmakers as we celebrate the 27th Annual DGA Student Film Awards,” said DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter. “Recognizing emerging talent through these awards is part of our ongoing efforts to encourage inclusion in the industry, and we are proud that a number of our past winners have gone on to success in film and television. . We congratulate these extraordinary student filmmakers and look forward to seeing their future creations.
The Jury Prize rewards a second film judged to be exceptional. In cases where Jury Prizes are awarded, this distinction is accompanied by $1,000 for Jury Prize recipients.
Eligible films were made during the 2020/2021 academic year (Sept. 2020 to Aug. 2021) and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member – students occupying all major positions in the team. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible – animated and experimental films are not eligible. Applicants must be enrolled in or recently graduated (one year) from an accredited post-secondary institution located in the United States.
A national awards ceremony will take place virtually on Thursday, February 17.
Selected by juries of DGA blue ribbon members, the 2021 winners include:
BEST AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENT FILMMAKERS:
Winner: Sarah Gambles of Florida State University – “Fairydust”
Jury Prize: Yasmeen Purvis of the City University of New York – “Who was Lee Edwards?
Prize Winner: AFI’s Omar S. Kamara – “Mass Ave.”
Jury Prize: USC’s De’Onna “Tree” Young-Stephens – “Not Just a Name”
BEST ASIAN AMERICAN STUDENT FILMMAKERS:
Winner: Bohao Liu from NYU – “Eagles Rest in Liangshan”
Jury Prize: Justin Li of Ithaca College – “Fleeting Moments”
Prize Winner: UCLA’s Jun Hee Han – “Uncle”
Jury Prize: UCLA’s Sining Xiang – “Foreign Uncle”
BEST LATIN STUDENT FILMMAKERS
Prize Winner: Mackenzie Rosario of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale – “Journey Forward”
Prize Winner: AFI’s Jorge G. Camarena – “Spaceship”
Jury Prize: USC’s Joe Perry – “Niño de Nadie”
BEST STUDENT FILMMAKERS:
Prize Winner: Lamu Shangccho of the School of Visual Arts – “Walk Alone”
Jury Prize: Chloe Sarbib of Columbia University – “Jensen”
Prize Winner: USC’s Kay Niuyue Zhang – “Mother in the Mist”
Jury Prize: Afton Quast Saler of USC – “Neurodivergent”
Past DGA-recognized winners who have left their mark on film include 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 (“Dopesick”, “Surveillance”, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”, “Miracles From Heaven”) and Sylvain White (“The Rookie”, “Fargo, ” “The Umbrella Academy”, “Amazing Stories”).