The Directors Guild of America announced the winners of the 2018 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women directors. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional diverse directors in film schools and select universities across the country.

“We’re honored to bring attention to this exceptional group of filmmakers through the 24th Annual DGA Student Film Awards,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “Highlighting emerging talent is a vital part of the DGA’s ongoing commitment to inclusion, and we’re proud that a number of our past winners found success in film and television. We look forward to following the careers of these promising directors.”

The 2018 winners, selected by blue ribbon DGA member panels, are:


West Region

Award Winner: Rachel Bass of Chapman University – “Thicker than Water”

Jury Award: Andrew Reid of USC – “ASIA A”

East Region

Award Winner: Rashad Frett of New York University – “K.I.N.G.”



West Region

Award Winner: Sohil Vaidya of USC – “Difficult People”

Jury Award: Lin Sun of Art Center College of Design – “AI-Pocalypse”

East Region

Award Winner: Chieh Yang of Columbia University – “Tail End of the Year”



West Region

Award Winner: Brian Robau of Chapman University – “Esta es tu Cuba”

Jury Award: Victor Alonso-Berbel of USC – “Perfectly Natural”

East Region

Award Winner: Victoria Rivera of Columbia University – “Verde”



West Region

Award Winner: Kelley Kali of USC – “Lalo’s House”

Jury Award: Dilek Ince of CSUN – “Amal”

East Region

Award Winner: Paola Ossa of Montclair University – “Catalina”

Jury Award:  Samantha Geis of Savannah College of Art and Design – “Rock and a Hard Place”


The DGA Student Film Awards have highlighted dozens of African American, Asian American, Latino and Women filmmakers over the years. A number of past winners have gone on to enjoy successful directing careers, including:

  • Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians; G.I. Joe: RetaliationJustin Bieber: Never Say NeverThe LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary DancersStep Up 3D)

  • Ryan Coogler (Black Panther; Creed; Fruitvale Station)

  • Nicole Kassell (BrooklynWestworldThe Following, The LeftoversThe AmericansSuitsThe WoodsmanA Little Bit of Heaven)

  • Patricia Riggen (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan; Miracles From Heaven; The 33Lemonade Mouth)

  • Sylvain White (Magnum P.I.; Station 19The RookieThe AmericansSlender Man, MacGyver, Hawaii Five-O)

Eligible films were made in the 2017/2018 school year (September 2017 through August 2018), and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member – with students holding every major crew position. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible  – animated and experimental films are not eligible. Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent (within one year) graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution in California or DGA-selected university offering a degree in film or television.

West Region award-winning films are being screened as part of today’s awards presentation ceremony at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles. The East Region screenings and ceremony will take place at the Directors Guild of America Theater in New York on Friday, December 7, 2018.