2019 ColumbIa University Film Festival Awardees

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, June 8, 2019

The Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program presented the 32nd Annual Columbia University Film Festival (CUFF), a week-long program of screenings, screenplay, and teleplay readings in New York. The celebration will continue with events in Los Angeles from June 11-13, 2019. School of the Arts' Dean Carol Becker, “Welcome to the 32nd Columbia University Film Festival—the culminating event for our MFA Film students. In 1987 when the Festival began, it consisted of only four shorts, followed by a panel discussion. Now the Festival has become a true Columbia tradition, including several days of screenings, panels and events in both New York and Los Angeles.”


The 2019 CUFF Jury Awards were announced as follows:


The Best Film Award went to Mizaru, written and directed by Sudarshan Suresh.


The Vimeo Award for Best Director was awarded to Xixi Wang for Greenhouse.


The 3Pas Studios Award for Excellence in Producing went to Meng Xiong for Ayaan.


The Big Sky Edit Visionary Film Award went to Así en la Tierra, written and directed by Joel Vázquez Cárdenas.


The Adrienne Shelly Foundation Award for Best Female Director was awarded to Alies Sluiter for Ayaan.


The Richard Brick Award for Special Distinction in Line Producing went to Camila Zavala for The Catch.


The National Board of Review Student Grants was awarded to Alies Sluiter for Ayaan, to Esteban Garcia Vernaza for Silento, and to Sandra Mitrovic for Last Call.


The Gi-Gadgets Technology Award went to Street Champ (Sadak Chaap) directed by Riddhi Talreja and produced by Apoorva Charan.


The Alex Sichel Fellowship went to Shannon Kelley.


The Miloš Forman Directing Fellowship went to Ivan Durovic, Wesley Goodrich, and Ricardo Varona.


The Michael Hausman/FilmHaus Foundation Award was awarded to Claire Brooks.


The Arthur Krim Memorial Awards went to Caroline Blair and Barbara Twist.


The Launch Fund Awards were awarded to Estefania de la Chica, Lauren Lopez de Victoria, Taylor Mendonca, Jacyln Noel, Eric Salmon, and Grace Swee.


The 2019 IFP Audience Awards were awarded as follows:


In Program A the award went to Manila Is Full of Men Named Boy, written and directed by Andrew Stephen Lee, and co-written by Neda Jebelli, Emre Gulcan.


In Program B the award went to The Catch, directed by Thais Drassinower, written and produced by Camila Zavala.


In Program C the award went to Only Boys, written and directed by Jaclyn Noel and produced by Andrea Goocher.


In Program D the award went to La Salvadora, written and produced by Tom Lock.


In Program E the award went to Greenhouse, written and directed by Xixi Wang and produced by Haichao Fang.


In Program F the award went to Silento, written and directed by Esteban Garcia Vernaza and produced by Susie Kim.


In Program G the award went to Sting, written and directed by Frank Graziano and produced by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic.


In Program H the award went to Ayaan, written and directed by Alies Sluiter and produced by Meng Xiong.


“The stories we share with each other on screen not only reflect our past and present, but also powerfully frame and inform our future.  The work that comprises CUFF reflects the diverse voices of our student body, and the exchange of ideas and perspectives from around the world that we are fortunate to share every day. We are proud of the range of form and genre we see our students take on. The common thread is fearlessness, and something true and human discovered along the way.” — Film Chair Hilary Brougher,


Congratulations to all this year’s winners!