The Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts wrapped up its annual First Run Film Festival with the announcement of this year’s Wasserman Awards for excellence in filmmaking. Winners included undergraduate Michael Lukk Litwak for his film “The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger” and graduate student Frances Bodomo for “Afronauts.” Both Litwak and Bedomo won first prize overall in their categories.


The Wasserman awards are given annually to three undergraduate and three graduate film students at NYU’s Kanbar Institute, and receive special underwriting by a grant from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. The award-winning films will be celebrated with screenings in Los Angeles on June 5 at the Directors Guild of America. The full list of winners included:

Undergraduate Film

1st Prize, $10,000 – Michael Lukk Litwak, The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger
2nd Prize, $7,000 – Dan Costales, Bears
3rd Prize, $5,000 – Gerald Jean-Baptiste, The Choice

Graduate Film

1st Prize, $10,000 –Frances Bodomo, Afronauts
2nd Prize, $7,000 –Zachary Kerschberg, Late Spring
3rd Prize, $5,000 –Toshimichi Saito, Koharubiyori

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, Todd Phillips, Brett Ratner, Nancy Savoca, Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, Morgan Spurlock, and Oliver Stone, among many others.

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