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Emerson Film Festival Showcases Student, Alum Talent Behind the Camera

  • Filmmaker with close cropped hair, round glasses, talks to person in black hoodie
  • Woman speaks into microphone, screen behind her
  • audience seated in Paramount Theatre

The 23rd Annual Emerson Film Festival looked back at early work of successful alum filmmakers and highlighted the genius and hard work of nine Emerson students, four of whom took home prizes.

This year’s festival was presented as part of Celebrate Emerson, three days of events to celebrate the inauguration of President Jay Bernhardt.

Read: Emerson Film Festival Premiering Nine Student Films, Showcasing Alumni Work

Elise Cohen, MFA ’23 won the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for their film, Call Home, a documentary that weaves intimate phone calls of the filmmaker’s grandmother with archival footage, navigating the emotional landscape of distance and belonging. Cohen will receive resolve Davinci Resolve 18 software (retail $300) for winning the award, selected and donated by Dan Berube ’89, director of SuperMeet, a series of educational and networking events for filmmakers.

Lida Everhart ’24 won the Singular Vision Award for their documentary, Graysen’s Room, about a friend who shares their philosophy on art and creation from the comfort of their room. Everhart will receive a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (retail $2,000). Berube also selected and donated this award, on behalf of SuperMeet.

The Audience Award of $1,000 cash went to Maya Chang ’23 for Freddie, an animated film about an insecure gazelle searching for his lost hat, but finding something even more valuable: self-acceptance.

The Best of Fest Prize ($2,500), awarded by program curators Anna Feder, Head of Film Exhibition & Festival Programs, VMA Chair Shaun Clarke, and VMA Assistant Professor Owen Egerton, went to Steven Fong, MFA ’23 for Still Waters. The film follows a man struggling to hold on to his sanity after a recent breakup awakens a nightmare from his past.

And Robin, a film by Tris Arthur ’23, was selected to screen at the Independent Film Festival Boston showcase on Saturday, May 4, 1:00 pm, at the Somerville Theater, part of a program of student work from across the state. Arthur follows a teenager who, unwillingly cast as the male lead in a coming-of-age film, runs away in search of their real identity.

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