Gandolfini, Clarkson To Present At SVA DUSTY Film & Animation Awards Gala 5/6

The 21st Annual Dusty Film and Animation Festival and Awards - taking place May 2-7 culminates with an awards ceremony and gala, Thursday, May 6 at 6:30PM at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street) and features a full roster of names from the world of film and animation. Presenters for the gala include Actress Patricia Clarkson (2-time Emmy Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee) presenting the Outstanding Director Award; Animator John D. Dilworth (Producer, Director and Creator of the animated TV series, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and SVA alumnus [BFA 1985 Animation]) the Traditional and Stop-Motion Animation Awards; Media Personality Phil Donahue (9-time Emmy Award winner, The Phil Donahue Show) the Outstanding Documentary Award; Actor James Gandolfini (Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award-winner -The Sopranos) the Outstanding Film Award; Production Sound Mixer Chris Newman (3-time Oscar Winner, The Exorcist, Amadeus, The English Patient) the Sound Award; Editor Stephen Rotter (Enchanted, Yours, Mine and Ours, What Women Want) the Editing Award; Cinematographer Nancy Schreiber (November, Butter, Serious Moonlight, A Beautiful Life and Independent Spirit Award Nominee) the Cinematography Award; and Screenwriter James C. Strouse (The Winning Season, New York, I Love You, Grace is Gone) the Screenwriting Award. Additional presenters for the invite-only event are to be announced.

The DUSTY awards are presented to the winning thesis students from the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department at the School of Visual Arts. The award winning films and animations are chosen from over 100 thesis students' works. The awards ceremony is part of the Dusty Film & Animation Festival running May 2-7 that also includes screenings of short films, videos, and animations. This year's Screenwriters Night (May 3) is a proud collaboration with The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in which SVA's graduating thesis screenwriters will have selected scenes performed live by alumni from The Neighborhood Playhouse. The 2010 DUSTY Film and Animation Festival and Awards are produced by film producer and SVA faculty member Annie Flocco, with co-producer Meredith Engstrom.

Screenings, Awards and Screenwriters Night take place at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). All of the screenings are FREE and open to the general public. For more event info. and schedules, please visit

"We are happy to announce this year's Dusty presenters," said Reeves Lehmann, chair of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department at SVA. "With these awards we celebrate the many successes of the ‘next generation of filmmakers and animators' along with an illustrious roster of SVA friends and allies from the world of film and animation."

Over its two-decade history, the DUSTYS has introduced many graduates of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department who have gone on to earn international recognition on the film scene. This year's Academy Award winners included SVA alumnus Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film and Video) for Music (Original Score) for the Pixar animated film Up; Giacchino was previously nominated for his score for the animated film Ratatouille. Other SVA alumni to be recognized recently for outstanding filmmaking include Lynn Shelton (MFA 1995 Photography and Related Media), who won the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards for her film Humpday, and Brenton Cottman (BFA 2003 Illustration), who won a Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for Outstanding Matte Paintings in a Feature Motion Picture for his work as lead matte painter on the film Avatar. In addition, SVA alumnus Kevin Asch (BFA 1998 Film and Video) was represented at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival with Holy Rollers; Jake Armstrong (BFA 2009 Animation) won the Best Undergraduate Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival for his short, The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9; and Chris Dimino (BFA 2002 Graphic Design), who creates animations for CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman, made a recent appearance on air with the show's host for a graphics-driven comedy bit.

Each year, DUSTY film achievement awards are presented in the following categories: documentary, screenwriting, cinematography, sound, editing, directing and outstanding film. Animation achievement awards are presented for traditional, stop-motion, and outstanding character design. Past DUSTYS presenters have included SVA alumni, industry notables and award-winners such as Danny Aiello, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Combs, Wes Craven, Griffin Dunne, Harvey Keitel, Kevin Kline, David Koepp, Mira Nair, Bill Plympton, John Patrick Shanley, Bryan Singer, and Treat Williams.

2010 Festival Schedule

Sunday, May 2 - Wednesday, May 5: Screenings*
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street - Time TBA

Monday, May 3: Screenwriters Night
SVA Theatre, 6:30pm

Tuesday, May 4: Animation Screenings*
SVA Theatre - 7 - 11pm

Thursday, May 6: Awards Ceremony and Gala
Awards Ceremony: SVA Theatre 6:30PM
Gala: 9 - 11pm - Visual Arts Gallery

Friday, May 7: Winner's Circle*
SVA Theatre, 6 - 10pm

RSVP is required for Screenwriters Night, Awards Ceremony and Gala. For public inquiries regarding tickets, please contact 212.592.2124. Events marked with an asterisk * above are free and open to the public. Updated event information will be available on the SVA/DUSTY website:

Screenwriters Night, Monday, May 3, 2010, is presented in collaboration with The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and The Real Theatre Company in association with Back Stage and Final Draft. Twelve five-minute scenes by SVA's screenwriting thesis students are set to be performed live on stage, featuring alumni from The Neighborhood Playhouse, the internationally-regarded acting conservatory. Screenwriters Night will be directed by award-winning filmmaker John Gallagher, a faculty member at both SVA and The Neighborhood Playhouse, and produced by film producer and SVA faculty member Annie Flocco.

The 2010 Dusty Film and Animation Festival and Awards headlining sponsors are Eastman Kodak, CAVA - SVA Computer Store, National Board of Review, New York Women In Film and Television, Act Zero Films, AJA Video Systems, Animation Magazine, Arri/CSC, Avid, Back Stage, Foto Care, Future Media Concepts, Gotham Sound, Keslow Television, Nice Shoes, Panavision and SCS Agency, Inc.

The Dusty Film and Animation Festival and Awards began in 1990 when the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department sought to bring its year-end screenings of student thesis films to a wider audience. With sponsorship, a venue, and the support from the film industry, the event came to life. To pay tribute to School of Visual Arts founder Silas H. Rhodes, the event was named "Dusty" - after the nickname Mr. Rhodes had as a soldier in World War II.

School of Visual Arts is widely regarded as one of the finest art schools in the United States for its innovative curriculum, unparalleled faculty of more than 1000 creative professionals and its participation in the larger arts community of New York City. SVA alumni have received accolades from such renowned institutions and organizations such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Sundance Film Festival; International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France; American Film Institute; Women in Film; National Board of Review and many others. Find more information at

School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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