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Highlights from SVA’s 2017 Dusty Film & Animation Festival Awards

A single mother living in a small town in Mexico is forced to take desperate measures that challenge her faith, a shipwrecked sailor gets a visit from a drag queen mermaid, and the human impulse to live through a self-constructed series of illusions and enchanted objects were among the subjects of films by BFA Film and BFA Animation students honored at the 28th Dusty Film & Animation Festival Awards (watch the entire ceremony below).

At the invitation-only ceremony at the SVA Theatre on May 8, a total of 20 awards were presented to the next wave of up-and-coming animators and filmmakers. The Disappeared by Alejandro Cortés Sánchez won the Outstanding Film award, InSight by Nicolas Lopez took the award for Outstanding Documentary, and To Be Fiona by Fiona Lu nabbed the Outstanding Animated Film award and Outstanding Achievement in Animation Production Design.

Miwa Sakulrat won the New York Women in Film & Television Award as well as Outstanding Achievement in Directing for Nymph, which also took the award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (Alex Echevarria). Outstanding Achievement in Editing went to John Tashiro for A Girl Named Hope, Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting went to Shailyn Cotten for After Oil, and Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation went to Joe Sulsenti for Fishy, which also won Outstanding Achievement in Animation Production Design.

Special Jury Awards for Animation went to Branko Kljajic for The Heist, Alexa Swanson for Friend Fiction and Demi Bozas for Selfish, while Ameer Kazmi took the Special Jury Award for Film for Fair Grounds. In addition, the Human Spirit Award for Animation went to Soren Hughes for A Sun Came (watch below); the Human Spirit Award for Film went to Etna Özbek for water, water everywhere; Julia Anquier took the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Award and Varyana Galdamez was awarded the Gotham Sound Honorary Grant.

Producer/filmmaker and SVA faculty member Annie Flocco produced the festival and awards and faculty member and media personality Valerie Smaldone hosted. Among the more than a dozen notable presenters were Academy Award-nominated producer and director David Silverman (The Simpsons, Monsters, Inc.); producer and New York Women in Film & Television president Alexis Alexanian (Maggie’s Plan, The Hottest State, Pieces of April); Editor Jim Helton (Blue Valentine, A Place Beyond the Pines, The Light Between Oceans); Academy Award-winning production sound mixer Chris Newman (The Godfather, The Exorcist, Amadeus); writer and director Gillian Robespierre (BFA 2005 Film and Video) (Landline, Obvious Child, Casual); Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Sam Pollard (Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, 4 Little Girls, When the Levees Broke); Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York, Silence); and cinematographer and director Reed Morano (Meadowland, Frozen River, The Handmaid’s Tale).

For more information about the Dusty Awards, please visit dusty.sva.edu.

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