NYU Announces Wasserman Winners
The 56th Annual First Run Festival culminated on Saturday, with the
presentation of the 1998 Wasserman Awards for outstanding
filmmaking among undergraduate and graduate filmmaking students at New
York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In addition, two student
screenwriters were honored with the New York Picture Company Awards.
First Prize awards of $1,000 went to graduate student Joel Hopkins for
his 29-minute film "Jorge" and undergraduate Aaron Cohen for his
27-minute film "The Census Taker."
Graduate student Patrick Cady and undergraduate Vilka Tzouras took home
the second prize of $750 each for their films "Gossamer" and "Soldier's
Bride," respectively, while graduate Greg Pak ("Fighting Grandpa") and
undergrad Wi Ding Ho ("Still") picked up the third place prize of $500.
The New York Picture Company Awards for Best Comedy and Best Drama in
screenwriting were given to Jason Greiff for his comedy "Grandma's
Departure," while the best drama screenplay award went to Joe Meyer for
"One of Us."
In a prepared statement Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School
of the Arts congratulated the winners and filmmakers who screened at
First run, adding, "The future of American Filmmaking resides not only
in the evolution of technology but in the telling of stories that spring
from every culture and every community." She continued, "The range and
power of this year's stories is certainly a credit to the Tisch school's
tradition of excellence."
Presenting the awards were former Wasserman Award winner writer/director
Nancy Savoca (NYU grad, 1982; "True Love," "Dogfight") and director
Chris Eyre (NYU grad student) who's thesis film, "Smoke Signals," won
the Filmmakers Trophy and Dramatic Audience Award at the 1998 Sundance
Film Festival. Jurors for this year's awards included The Shooting
Gallery's Larry Meistrich, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi ("Goodfellas,"
"Casino") and Sandra Forman from the Directors Guild of America.
The First Run Festival is a yearly event comprising of a week-long
series of public screenings of over 100 short films and videos made by
NYU's graduate and undergraduate students, ending in the Wasserman
Awards, named for Edie and Lew Wasserman, long-time benefactors of the
Tisch School. Lew is former chairman of MCA/Universal.