Two recent alumni from New York University’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, Graduate Division, at the Tisch School of the Arts won the Gold and Silver awards in the Narrative category at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ 37th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. They were among the 2010 winners—13 students in all representing 10 colleges and universities—announced on June 12 at a ceremony at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, CA.
Luke Matheny ’10 won the gold for his thesis film, God of Love. His film was also the 1st prize winner in the Graduate Film division in this year’s NYU First Run Film Festival, held in April. God of Love tells the story of the lounge-singing darts champion Ray who finds his prayers are answered, literally, when he receives a box of love-inducing darts, which he uses to resolve a strange romantic triangle that involves his dream girl, his best friend, and himself.
Kim Spurlock ’09 won the silver for her thesis film, Down in Number 5. Her film was also the 1st prize winner in the Graduate Film division in NYU’s 2009 First Run Film Festival. Based on a true story, Down in Number 5 follows a terminally ill coal miner as he struggles to find refuge for his developmentally disabled son.
The NYU winners join a long list of past award recipients from the Tisch School’s film program in the Kanbar Institute, including Spike Lee. The Student Academy Awards is an annual competition for college and university filmmakers. Winners are selected by the professional filmmaker members of the Academy and receive trophies along with cash prizes. The awards were announced at a gala ceremony that featured directors Penelope Spheeris and Henry Selick, and actor Jeremy Renner.