Craft Awards & Finalist Films Announced April 10

The 65th First Run Festival is New York’s oldest continuous film festival, and each year premieres the work of some of the country’s top student filmmakers. This year, the annual spring showcase for intermediate and advanced student projects in film, video, and animation in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University will unspool for the public from April 11-16. More than 120 projects will compete for over $50,000 in cash awards presented by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. The films and videos were all written, directed, and shot by graduate and undergraduate students from the Tisch School of the Arts’ Kanbar Institute.

The week-long festival will kick off with the Craft Awards ceremony and the announcement of the King finalists on Tuesday, April 10 at 6 pm followed by a private reception at Apple Restaurant. Public screenings of the films will be at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Film Center, located at 36 East 8th Street. The screening times are: Wednesday, April 11 - Friday, April 13 - 2 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm; Saturday, April 14 - Sunday, April 15 - 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm. Admission is $5; NYU students with I.D., $3. No tickets will be sold in advance. For further information, call: 212.998.1795; or visit

The five days of screenings will culminate in the Wasserman Award ceremony featuring the presentation of the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation prizes, which will be held on Monday, April 16 at 5:30 in the Rosenthal Pavilion, 10th floor of NYU’s Kimmel Center for Student Life, located at Washington Square South and LaGuardia Place. A screening of the winning films will follow the dinner and awards ceremony at 7:30 pm at the Cantor Film Center. (The ceremony and dinner are by invitation only.)

Later in the spring each year, following the First Run Festival, the finalist films and videos are screened in Hollywood for industry professionals and the public. This year’s Los Angeles showcase will be held on Tuesday, June 19 at the Director’s Guild of America.

Underwriting support for First Run Festival 2007 has been provided, in part, by a grant from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation for the creation of 10 awards. They are, for both graduate and undergraduate divisions: 1st place, $10,000; 2nd place, $7,000; and 3rd place, $5,000. In addition, four Wasserman Awards for $2,500 each and underwritten, in part, by the Kind Family Foundation, will be presented for Best Director, and Best Screenplay in the graduate and undergraduate divisions. A distinguished panel of judges representing the film industry will select the winners.

First Run is the debut venue for most Kanbar student films, and many will later go on to screenings at international film festivals, cable television, and Sundance. This years entries range from traditional dramas and documentaries to experimental shorts and animation. Most are 15 minutes or more in length and are finished in video format with others completed in 35-mm and 16-mm color. Coming of age stories chronicling the misadventures of youth and relationship-driven dramas predominate as well as comedic approaches to slice-of-life stories.

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.

Press Contact

Richard Pierce
Richard Pierce
(212) 998-6796