A Sikh child’s perilous bus ride in the wake of Ghandi’s assassination, a boy’s unusual adventure with a baby crab, three generations of Oklahoma women, and a monstrous raccoon were among the subjects of films by BFA Film and Video Department and BFA Animation Department students honored at the 24th Annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival and Awards.
At the by-invitation-only ceremony at the SVA Theatre on May 7, Shubhashish Bhutiana’s film Kush, inspired by the true story of a teacher’s struggles to protect her one Sikh student from escalating violence, received awards in the categories of Outstanding Film, Outstanding Achievement in Directing, and Outstanding Achievement in Editing. John Strong was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Directing for Out of Center, and along with Nicholas Stango received Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for the same film. Sara Ho’s Crabby Day, an animated film about an imaginative child and a baby crab, was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Traditional Animation and Outstanding Achievement in Traditional Character Design. The Outstanding Documentary (Film) award went Katherine Knight for Cicada Psalm, Michele Malecki received Outstanding Achievement in Traditional Production Design for Catastrophe, Deanna DeMaglie won Outstanding Achievement in Stop Motion Animation for Bagelwolf, and Abdool Laltaprasad received the Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting Award for The Sum of One.
Awards in 11 categories were presented in all, and students were also recognized with a number of prestigious industry honors. Java Jacobs received the New York Women in Film & Television Award, Colin Hingel took the Independent Filmmaker Project Award, Daniel Rodrigo Arias was given the National Board of Review Human Spirit Award, Emma Huckstadt and Ankit Somani received Gotham Honorary Sound Grants, and Java Jacobs and Mark Floyd were named National Board of Review Student Grant Recipients.
Filmmaker and SVA faculty member Annie Flocco produced the program, faculty member and media personality Valerie Smaldone hosted the program, and presenters included industry notables Melissa Leo, Geoffrey Fletcher, Andrew Jarecki, Lisa Jackson, Fred Seibert, Peter C. Frank, Frank Gresham, and Chris Newman, among others.
The ceremony can be seen at new.livestream.com/sva/dusty through May 20th.
Images from top down: Actor Melissa Leo with Shubhashish Bhutiani, Outstanding Film Award Winner; group shot of winners and presenters.