The Volker Bahnemann Award for Outstanding Cinematography - Grad Film


  • Kaitlyn Busbee

    Kaitlyn Busbee

    Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Kaitlyn T. Busbee earned her BA in both Theatre Arts and Cinema with a Certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa. Her award-winning films explore female-centric stories reveling in both the drama and the humor of everyday life. She strives to excavate and deeply explore what makes us tick as humans by examining moments both big and small.

  • Elo Santa Maria

    Elo Santa Maria

    Elo Santa Maria is a director and cinematographer based in Brooklyn. They are currently in their final thesis year as a graduate student in the NYU Graduate Film program. Before coming to NYU in 2019, Elo worked as a professional camera assistant and cinematographer in Austin, Texas. Elo has a background in visual art, and studied interdisciplinary sculpture and video at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It is there that they used their first 16mm film camera and decided to pursue film. After MICA, they graduated from the University of Texas at Austin's Radio Television and Film program in 2014. While at NYU, they have shot and gaffed numerous short film projects, and enjoy the process of bringing their classmates’ stories to life through collaboration and play.

  • Louise Zhang

    Louise Zhang

    Louise Zhang is a Chinese filmmaker based in New York. Born and raised in Shanghai, Louise came to the States at the age of 15. She graduated with high honors from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS degree in Computer Science, and minors in French and Film Studies. Her films combine an eastern sensibility with western storytelling, evoking universal emotions through specific narratives.

  • Irene Mercadal Albornoz

    Irene Mercadal Albornoz

    Irene Mercadal is a filmmaker from Talca, Chile, currently based in NYC, where she’s coursing her thesis year as a Film MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Irene has written, directed, and photographed numerous narrative short films and documentaries. Her work as a cinematographer has been shaped by her background in film aesthetics studies and documentary filmmaking, and ranges from comedy to observational documentary, with a variety of genres in between.

  • Sam Motamedi

    Sam Motamedi

    Sam Motamedi is a New York based cinematographer from Iran. After graduating with a Dual Degree in Political Science & Persian Studies from the University of Maryland he enrolled in the NYU Graduate Film Program. With experience in commercial and narrative productions, Sam’s work has screened on many local and nationwide stations. Most recently he shot Rashad Frett’s Cary Fukunaga & Spike Lee backed short film RICKY