Second Annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival Winners Announced

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Fri, 10/28/2016 - 11:38 -- Nick Dager

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Hollywood Professional Association have announced the winners of the second annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival. 

Held October 26, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California, following the Oktoberfest Reception for the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, 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.)

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.

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

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