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HomeCommunityWinners of the Second Annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival Announced

Winners of the Second Annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival Announced


The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the organization whose standards work has supported a century of technological advances in entertainment technology, and the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA), the organization serving the professional media creation and finishing community, have announced the winners of the second annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival.

Held on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California, following the Oktoberfest Reception for the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2016), the film festival showcased submissions demonstrating creative uses of technology in storytelling. SMPTE and the HPA received over 250 submissions from more than 46 countries, and the 24 official selections shown during SMPTE 2016 represented Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Iran, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Slovakia, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S.

The event was hosted by Howard Lukk, SMPTE director of engineering and standards, who is also a film director. The official selections at the Festival were screened in SMPTE-DCP format, courtesy of Sundog Media Toolkit. Five films earned awards in the following categories:

Best Creative Use of Entertainment Technology to Engage the Audience in the Story — Animated Short

The Graveyard Shift by Lara Arikan of Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, Florida, U.S.)

Best Creative Use of Entertainment Technology to Engage the Audience in the Story — Live-Action Short

Bug Killer by Unggyu Choi of School of the Visual Arts (New York, U.S.)

Best Use of Mobile Device or Tablet to Convey a Story — Narrative Short

• ISMS by Jayden Gillespie of Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego, U.S.)

Best Use of Virtual Reality in Storytelling — Narrative Short

Rhapsody by Chan Ming Chun of Hong Kong Design Institute (Tiu Keng Wan, Hong Kong)

The Audience Choice Award was a three-way tie:

At the Game: An RIT Hockey Experience by Anna Dining of Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York, U.S.)

Rhapsody by Chan Ming Chun of Hong Kong Design Institute (Tiu Keng Wan, Hong Kong)

Unmasked by Christina Faraj and Alice Gavish of School of the Visual Arts (New York, U.S.)

The student filmmakers of the winning selections received awards as well as prizes courtesy of Avid, Blackmagic Design, and ICG Magazine, the publication of the International Cinematographer’s Guild. Filmmaker information and trailers are available at

VR selections were screened with viewers provided by Google and Unofficial Cardboard.

“The wealth of entries for this year’s festival was inspiring,” said Seth Hallen, HPA president. “The work was outstanding and imaginative, and it is wonderful to see entries from students from a wide array of global educational institutions. Our jurors faced quite a difficult challenge choosing winners from the high caliber of submissions we received. As the festival screenings demonstrated, it was an excellent and competitive field, and one that included the first high school student to win a category! Looking at these entries, winners, and nominees, I am eager to continue enjoying the great works these budding young artists have in store for us as their careers unfold.”

The Jurors for this year’s festival featured a diverse group of accomplished professionals from around the world. They included Elisa Bonora, ACE, an editor and producer whose credits include multiple Emmy-nominated documentaries; David S. Cohen, digital features director at Variety; Ben Gervais, a productions systems supervisor currently serving as technical lead for production and postproduction for Ang Lee‘s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Dorian Harris, ACE, a film and television editor who recently edited the pilot of 11.22.63; Bryan Hillestad, a professional character animator and an animation supervisor whose diverse credits include the 2016 blockbuster Deadpool; Katie Hinsen, a senior finishing artist at Light Iron New York and founder of the Blue Collar Post Collective (BCPC); and Niven Howie, ACE, editor of commercials, pop videos, and feature films, including Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales, XTC‘s Dear God, and the features Dawn of the Dead (2004) and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005).

The jury also included Nancy Jundi, a data scientist for the entertainment, technology, and SaaS industries; Patricia Keighley, senior vice president of IMAX Corporation and co-founder and managing director of IMAX POST/DKP Inc.; Mark Kenna, the CEO of U.K.-based Bad Blood Films and a film sound consultant; Dean Lyon, a producer, director, and visual effects (VFX) supervisor whose VFX credits include the Lord of Rings trilogy and Without a Paddle; Chris Nienow, a member of the core team that formed Unofficial Cardboard during the launch of Google Cardboard at Google I/O 2014; Stewart Schill, ACE, an ACE Eddie Award-nominated writer, director, and editor whose editing credits for television include the limited series The People vs. OJ Simpson, American Horror Story, and Dexter; Matisse Tolin, virtual reality (VR) producer and screenwriter and founder of Lithic VR; and Joachim Zell, vice president of imaging science and technical director at EFILM, where he began the EC3 onset and near-set dailies division.

The SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition is the premier annual event for motion-imaging and media technology, production, operations, and the allied arts and sciences. This is the second year that SMPTE and the HPA have hosted a student film festival in conjunction with the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition. Celebrating the Society’s 100-year history, SMPTE 2016 will be followed by another special event: the SMPTE Centennial Gala, to be held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the evening of Oct. 28.

Information regarding submissions for next year’s SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival will be posted at in January 2017.

Further information about SMPTE is available at Additional information about the HPA is available at

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