Graduate Film Fall 2015 Accomplishments

Monday, Dec 14, 2015


It has been an amazing semester for the Graduate Film community.  Here is a list of some of our accomplishments this fall:


Artistic Director and Professor Spike Lee won an honorary Academy Award for his body of work and premiered his new film Chi-Raq

Beasts of No Nation, directed by alumnus Cary Fukunga, premiered to wide critical acclaim on Netflix and in theaters around the nation in October, was awarded the NBR Freedom of Expression Award, and has been nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards:  Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Male and Best Cinematography. It also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Idris Elba

Wiener-Dog by Professor Todd Solondz and Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall by Professor Spike Lee will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016

Alumnus Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea won the Golden Pyramid at the Cairo International Film Festival, Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards, Best Directorial Debut from the National Board of Review, is nominated for Best First Feature and Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards and was a finalist for the LUX Prize.  The film was picked up by IFC Midnight and has had a theatrical release, garnering critical acclaim

Beasts of No Nation and Son of Saul were picked as the Critics’ Favorites at the Telluride Film Festival and their directors, Alumni Cary Fukunaga and Laszlo Nemes, were selected as the Best Directors as well

Equity, written by Professor Amy Fox and shot by Alumnus Eric Linn, has been selected for Sundance 2016’s U.S. Dramatic Competition

Alumnus Darius Clark Monroe’s “Dirt”, and thesis student Asantewaa Prempeh’s “Jungle” were selected for the Sundance 2016 U.S. Narrative Short Films program

Student Elnura Osmonalieva’s 2nd year film “Seide” was selected for the Sundance 2016 International Narrative Short Films program as well as the Clermont-Ferrand 38th International Short Film Festival

How To Tell You’re A Douchebag, produced by student Julius Pryor IV & alumnus Martisse Hill, has been selected for the Sundance 2016 Next program

Three of five Best First Feature nominees at the Independent Spirit Awards are recent Grad Film alums:  Alumni Chloe Zhao and Mollye Asher for Songs My Brothers Taught Me, alumni Josef Kubota Wladyka and Elena Greenlee 
for Manos Sucias, and Jonas Carpignano for Mediterranea

Alumnus Kiel Adrian Scott won a DGA Student Film Award for his thesis film “Samaria,” which was also a 2015 Student Academy Award Finalist

Jonas Carpignano

Adjunct Professor Erica Reed Marker was awarded the Sundance Institute’s 2015 Sally Menke Memorial Editing Fellowship

Student Joshua James Richards won the award for Best Cinematography Debut at the Camerimage International Film Festival for the Art of Cinematography, Best Cinematography at BendFilm Festival, and is nominated for Best Cinematography at the Independent Spirit Awards for his work on Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Shawn Snyder was the recipient of a $100,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Award 2015-16 for his project, “To Dust”

Student Molly Gandour’s documentary “Peanut Gallery” and student Ben Kallam’s short “Red Folder” have been selected for Slamdance 2016

Alumni Sarah-Violet Bliss’ and Charles Rogers' new TV series Search Party was picked up by TBS

Student Samuel Grandchamp’s film "Le Barrage" won the Golden Leopard for Best Short Film at the Locarno International Film Festival

Alumni Laszlo Nemes, Leah Meyerhoff, Michael Larnell, and Nisha Ganatra were named in IndieWire’s “20 Directors to watch”

Alumni Seith Mann and Nicole Kassell made IndieWire’s “25 Best Directors Working in TV Today” list

Alumnus Joey Kuhn’s feature Those People won the Audience Award for Best First U.S. Feature Film at this year’s Outfest, and was acquired by Wolfe Releasing for 2016 distribution

Student Jacqueline Dow’s Spotify commercial 'Music Everywhere' was short-listed at the 2015 Porsche Awards in Germany

Student Alik Barsoumian received a 2015-16 IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship

Alumni Yared Zeleke and Laszlo Nemes were nominated by their home countries for Best Foreign Language Oscar

Alumnae Maryann Brandon edited Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Students Reinaldo Marcus Green and Jonas Carpignano were named finalists for the San Francisco Film Society / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants

Beasts of No Nation

Alumnae Pamela Romanowsky was chosen as one of the 2015-2016 Women at Sundance Fellows

Alumnae Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe In Unicorns was released on Netflix

Alumnus Laszlo Nemes’s Son of Saul is nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards and was awarded the Best Foreign Language Film Award by the National Board of Review

Alumni Martha Coolidge, Debra Granik, Maryam Keshavarz, Julia Loktev, and Dee Rees made Vulture’s “100 Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring” list

Student John Ryan Johnson won First Prize for the Test Commercial category at the Young Director Awards

Tisch Asia alumni Emmanuel Ossei-Kuffour won the Best Short Award and the award for "the film with the greatest social impact to inspire change"; and Christopher Loanzon won the Best Writer Award at the NBC Universal Short Film Festival

Student Ines Gowland’s short “Latiner” won Best Film 2015 in the Official Latino Short Film Festival

Student Myrsini Aristidou’s “Semele” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival

Student Brooke Goldfinch’s “Red Rover” premiered at the Austin Film Festival

Alumni Gabrielle Demeestere (writer/director), Chananun Chotrungroj (DP), and Shruti Ganguly’s (Producer) Yosemite was acquired by Monterey Media and will be released theatrically in early 2016

Student Harry Cepka's short “Golden Teachers” premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Almnus Cary Fukunaga and Student Elizabeth Nichols won Princess Grace Awards