Over $50,000 in Cash Awards Go to Six Student Filmmakers

New York, April 15 - Tonight, in a ceremony in the Rosenthal Pavilion on the campus of New York University, Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the associate provost of the arts at NYU, presented the winners with their awards in the 64th annual First Run Film Festival. Six outstanding student filmmakers from the Tisch School’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television walked away with the school’s top film prizes.

The winners of the King Awards for Excellence in Filmmaking are: 1st prize - Grant Greenberg (Graduate Division) for Cricket Head and Jason Klein (Undergraduate Division) for In Love; 2nd prize - Laura Richard (Graduate Division) for Breached and Asher Goldstein (Undergraduate Division) for Strangers; and 3rd prize - Juan Castilo (Graduate Division) for Secuestro: Oh, Crime Pays Alright… and Powel Weaver (Undergraduate Division) for I Killed Zoe Day. The winners of the King Award for Best Screenwriting are: Laura Richard and Asher Goldstein. The winners of the Wasserman Award for Best Directing are: Grant Greenberg and Jason Klein.

“Good stories have long lifetimes and so it is with the films that debut at the First Run Film Festival,” said Dean Campbell. “Many of these works will now go on to screenings at international film festivals, cable television, Sundance, and internet sites. Our congratulations tonight go out not only to the winners but to each and every one of our filmmakers for their energy, imagination, and collaborative spirit.

“I would also like to recognize the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation for its continued support of young filmmakers. And to extend a special thanks to Maurice Kanbar, who has been a mentor, supporter, and with his masterful skill as a film producer, an example of bold, innovative thinking for our young artists,” she added.

This year, 111 films and videos were in competition for twelve awards (six graduate and six undergraduate) worth $54,000 in prize money. The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation awards for Excellence in Filmmaking are for 1st prize $10,000, 2nd prize $7,000, and 3rd prize $5,000. In addition, there are the King Awards for Best Screenwriting, which are each $3,000, and The Wasserman Awards for Best Directing, which are each $2,000.

The winners join past award recipients Spike Lee, Ang Lee, and Nancy Savoca, among others. A panel of industry professionals selected the winning films from a group of seventeen finalists.

First Run Film Festival 2006 (April 7-15) was a weeklong series of public screenings of 111 advanced and intermediate student projects in film, video, and animation by graduate and undergraduate students from NYU’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Underwriting support was provided by the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation. The Wasserman Awards Ceremony is named in honor the late Lew Wasserman and his wife, Edie, generous benefactors of the Tisch School of the Arts.

The Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts provides an intensive and professional education in filmmaking. The program shared first place in recent U.S. News and World Report rankings of the nation’s film programs; since 1992, fifteen Student Academy Award gold medals have been presented to NYU student filmmakers by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. At the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, Kanbar Institute students and alumni walked away with an unprecedented seven awards in virtually every top-prize category. And at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival Kanbar Institute graduates and faculty won nine out of the 19 awards. Approximately 150 graduate and 1,050 undergraduate film students pursue degrees in film and television production, photography, cinema studies, dramatic writing, and interactive telecommunications. Distinguished alumni of the Kanbar Institute include Joel Coen, Chris Columbus, Billy Crystal, Martha Coolidge, Ernest Dickerson, Amy Heckerling, Jim Jarmusch,Ang Lee, Spike Lee,Brett Ratner, Nancy Savoca, Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, and Oliver Stone, among many others.

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