Grad Film Achievements, 2017-18

Alumna Dee Rees was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Mudbound, which she also directed. Mudbound received three other Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Song. Rees also won the award for Best Ensemble Cast at the Independent Spirit Awards for her casting in Mudbound.

3rd year student Kevin Wilson Jr.’s second year short film, My Nephew Emmett, won the gold Student Academy Award for Domestic Narrative Film and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Alumna producer Lisa Bruce was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for Darkest Hour.

Alumnus A.B. Shawky’s thesis film, Yomeddine, and Professor/Alumnus Spike Lee’s film Blackkklansman, were selected for the Main Competition at the 2018 Festival de Cannes. Blackkklansman won the Competition’s Grand Prix.

Alumna Debra Granik was the only American director to screen in the 2018 Festival de Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight section with her film Leave No Trace, which also premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Also at the 2018 Festival de Cannes: Professor and alumnus Etienne Kallos’s film The Harvesters, was selected for the Un Certain Regard section.

Thesis student Jamie Dack’s short Palm Trees and Power Lines was selected for the Cannes 2018 Cinefondation students section, and student Alejandro Miyashiro was the cinematographer for that short.

Professor Tatjana Krstevski was the cinematographer for Teret (The Load), which was selected for the Director’s Fortnight.

Three recent Grad Film alums won the top prizes in the 2018 Sundance Film Festival: Alumna Desiree Akhavan’s film The Miseducation of Cameron Post took home the top award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, and the film was edited by alumna Sara Shaw; Alumnus Reinaldo Marcus Green took home U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature for his film Monsters and Men; and Alumna Sara Colangelo's film, The Kindergarten Teacher, won her the Directing Award, a remarkable sweep of these awards.

Dead Pigs, a film by dual degree alumna Cathy Y. Yan, won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Following her success at Sundance, Yan was then selected by DC Comics to direct the new Harley Quinn film starring Margot Robbie, becoming the first Asian woman to direct a superhero film.

Student Nicholas Ma was the producer of the documentary feature Won’t You Be My Neighbor? about the television personality Mr. Rogers, which played in the Documentary Premieres section of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for release by Focus Features.

After a phenomenal film festival run in 2017, alumna Chloé Zhao’s film The Rider was nominated for Best Feature and Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards where she received the inaugural Bonnie Award which recognizes a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant. Her cinematographer, alumnus Joshua James Richards, was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Rider was also selected for the Festival Favorites section of SXSW, and was released to great acclaim.

Alumnus Jonas Carpignano won the David di Donatello Award for Best Director for his film A Ciambra. Carpignano was also nominated for Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Alumna Atsuko Hirayanagi was nominated for Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards for Oh Lucy!

Alumna Ingrid Jungermann was nominated for Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards for Women Who Kill.

Alumnus Jomo Fray received the Kodak Vision Award, the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation Fellowship at the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards, a Special Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, a Grand Jury Award at SXSW, and he was selected as a 2017 Project Involve Cinematography Fellow.

Alumnae Sasie Sealy and Angela Cheng won the $1 million AT&T Presents: Untold Stories pitch contest, the second year in a row an NYU student or alum won this award.

Alumnus Shawn Snyder was given the award for Best New Narrative Director and also took home the Audience Award for Narrative Feature at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival for his feature To Dust.

At the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by alumna Desiree Akhavan, was selected for the Spotlight Narrative section. Graduating student Faraday Okoro’s film Nigerian Prince, was selected as a Special Screening at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was produced by alumnus Oscar Hernandez, executive produced by Professor Spike Lee, and alumnus Sheldon Chau was the DP. Alumnus Shawn Snyder’s film, To Dust, was also selected as a Special Screening. Professor Tony Jannelli and alumnus Robert Pietri’s short The Velvet Underground Played at My High School was selected for the Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G section. Alumna Jean Pesce’s film So You Like The Neighborhood was selected for the Lighten Up! section.

Student Marie Dvorakova won the bronze at the Student Academy Awards for Domestic Narrative Film for her short, Who’s Who in Mycology.

Professor and Alumnus Spike Lee Received the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from New York University.

Professor Carol Dysinger was selected as a 2018 Guggenheim Fellows.

At the 2018 SXSW Film Festival: Alumnus Nichols Ma’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor was selected for the Festival Favorites section and so was Professor and alumnus Spike Lee’s Pass Over. 2nd year student Alexander Etseyatse’s short Otis was selected for the Independent Episodics section of SXSW. Four people, Laura Moss (Alum), Lisa Duva (2nd year student), Charles Rogers (Alum), and Sara Shaw (Alum), had shorts selected.

Two out of six finalists for the 2017 Black List, chosen from close to 1,000 applicants, were NYU Grad Film alumnae: Dagny Looper and Jean Pesce.

Alumnus Rezwan Shahriar Sumit's feature script A New Prophet was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's $100,000 Production Award.

Thesis student Elegance Bratton was the creator and executive producer of Viceland’s new docuseries My House, based on his second year film Walk For Me.

Thesis student Zamarin Wahdat was chosen as the only female DP Fellow for Project Involve 2018.

3rd year student Na’ama Keha was chosen to be the 2018 recipient of the Ronit Elkabetz "Rising Star" Pomegranate Award by the 21st New York Jewish Sephardic Film Festival.