Student Films Compete for $50,000 in Cash Awards; Public Screenings at the Cantor Film Center; Wasserman Awards & Screening, April 10

film students

The work of the best and the brightest NYU student filmmakers will once again be on display at the annual First Run Film Festival, sponsored annually at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the oldest continuous film festival in New York City.

Now in its 72nd 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 April 2 at 5 p.m. at the Torch Club, 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 3 through Sunday, April 6, and will feature XXX 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, with free Festival passes available to the first 100 visitors on April 3. No tickets will be sold in advance. For more detailed information, call 212.998.1795; or visit

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. 10 at 6 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 X, 2013 at the Directors Guild of America.

Underwriting support for First Run Festival 2014 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.

Finalists for the Undergraduate Film awards include the following:

  1. Lauren Ciaravalli, Dream Date
  2. Dan Costales, Bears
  3. Gerald Jean-Baptiste, The Choice
  4. Michael Litwak, The Life & Death
  5. Caitlin Machak, The Hunting Trip
  6. Emma Noble, Owl & Mouse
  7. Jesse Rosenberg, Life Sentences
  8. Carolina Tamez, Touching Leaves

Graduate finalists include the following:

  1. Frances Bodomo, Afronauts
  2. Reinaldo Green, Stone Cars
  3. Zachary Kerschberg, Late Spring
  4. Vincent Ma, In My Corner
  5. Lilian Mehrel, A Crack
  6. Constance Meyer, Frank-Etienne
  7. Giuliana Pinheiro, I Don’t Say Goodbye, I Say See You Soon
  8. Toshimichi Saito, Koharubiyori

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 romantic comedies to animated features to science fiction. Most are 15 minutes or more in length and are finished in video format with others completed in 35-mm.

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, Juan José Campanella, Billy Crystal, Martha Coolidge, Cary Fukunaga, Ernest Dickerson, Amy Heckerling, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Nancy Savoca, Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, and Oliver Stone, among many others.

Press Contact

Shonna Keogan
Shonna Keogan
(212) 998-6796