What do Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Joel Coen and Spike Lee have in common? They were all winners at the First Run Film Festival, sponsored annually at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the oldest continuous film festival in New York.
Now in its 71st year of premiering the work of some of the country’s top student filmmakers, the festival kicks off with the announcement of the First Run Craft Award winners on Tuesday, April 2, through which students are awarded over $50,000 in cash awards presented by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation.
Festival screenings take place Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7, and will feature 131 advanced films, videos, multimedia, and animation projects by both graduate and undergraduate students.
Screenings are open to the public and will take place at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Film Center, located at 36 E. 8th Street in Manhattan. Screenings take place from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is $5; students with ID, $3. No tickets will be sold in advance. For more detailed information, call 212.998.1795; or visit www.firstrunfestival.com.
The festival will culminate in the Wasserman Awards Ceremony featuring the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation Awards and screening of the winning films. The screening will take place at Cantor Film Center on Thursday, Apr. 11 at 7 pm.
Each year, following First Run, the finalist films and videos are screened in Hollywood for industry professionals and the public. This year’s Los Angeles showcase will be held June 6, 2013 at the Directors Guild of America.
Underwriting support for First Run Festival 2011 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, two Wasserman Awards for $2,000 each for Best Director and two King Awards for $3,000 each for Best Screenplay will be presented 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 year’s 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. 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. 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.