By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 31, 2009 at 4:20AM
The winners of New York University's 67th annual First Run Film Festival, which premieres the work of some of the country's top student films from the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts, were announced last night at a ceremony at the Cantor Film Center presided over by Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School.
This year's Festival screened over 130 films, videos, multimedia, and animation projects. Six outstanding student films were singled out for the Kanbar Institute's top film prizes and over $50,000 in cash awards.
The winners of the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation Awards for Excellence in Filmmaking are: 1st prize ($10,000) - Kim Spurlock (Graduate Division) for "Down in Number 5" and Stephen Neary (Undergraduate Division) for "Chicken Cowboy"; 2nd prize ($7,000) - Rashaad Ernesto Green (Graduate Division) for "Premature" and Andrew Simkiss (Undergraduate Division) for Sane Jules Blaine; 3rd prize ($5,000) - Carlo Mirabella-Davis (Graduate Division) for "Knife Point" and Razan Ghalayini (Undergraduate Division) for "Noor."
In addition, the winners of the King Award for Best Screenwriting ($3,000) are: Rashaad Ernesto Green (Graduate) for "Premature" and Stephen Neary (Undergraduate) for "Chicken Cowboy." The winners of the Wasserman Award for Best Directing ($2,000) are: Kim Spurlock (Graduate) for "Down in Number 5" and Stephen Neary (Undergraduate) for "Chicken Cowboy."
The winners join past recipients Spike Lee, Ang Lee, and Nancy Savoca, among many others. A panel of industry professionals selected the winning films from a group of 14 finalists.