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22nd Annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival at SVA May 6th – May 10th

Written by: FFT Webmaster | March 31st, 2011

School of Visual Arts KICKS OFF
THE 22nd Annual Dusty Film & Animation FESTIVAL

Film and Animation Festival: May 6 – 10 2011
Awards Ceremony: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The 22nd Annual Dusty Film and Animation Festival kicks off Friday, May 6 and continues through Tuesday, May 10 highlighting over 100 films by students graduating from the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). The program includes screenings of short films, videos and animations, and culminates in an awards ceremony with notables from the film and animation industries. This year’s Screenwriters Night is in collaboration with Susan Batson Studio featuring SVA graduating screenwriters’ selected scenes performed live by professional actors. All festival screenings, the Awards Ceremony and Screenwriters Night will take place at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). Many events are FREE and open to the general public. For more event information, please visit: <>.

“We are pleased to kick off our Dusty Film and Animation Festival May 6,” said Reeves Lehmann, chair of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department at SVA. “We’re proud to celebrate another great year for our filmmakers and animators with a festival that offers audiences the chance to see the works of remarkable new talent. And this year, our 22nd year, promises to be one filled with many colorful, dramatic, funny and remarkable stories—all through the amazing world of film, video and animation!”

Awards are presented to students from the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department at the School of Visual Arts who are recognized for outstanding thesis work.  The 2011 Dusty Film and Animation Festival and Awards are produced by film producer and SVA faculty member Annie Flocco, with co-producer Meredith Engstrom.

Past Dusty Awards presenters have included SVA alumni, industry notables and award-winners such as Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, Phil Donahue, John D. Dilworth, Chris Newman, Stephen Rotter, Nancy Schreiber, James C. Strouse, 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, Treat Williams and more. The 2011 presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
Screenwriters Night, Saturday, May 7, 2011, is presented in collaboration with Susan Batson Studio.
Five-minute scenes by SVA’s screenwriting thesis students are set to be performed live on stage. Screenwriters Night will be directed by Susan Batson, founder of Susan Batson Studio, and produced by film producer and SVA faculty member Annie Flocco. “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Susan Batson on Screenwriters Night this year,” said Flocco. “And excited to see Susan and her actors bring to life the words of our talented screenwriters.”

Susan Batson has been called a “technician of the spirit” by The New Yorker. She has enjoyed the privilege of working with Nicole Kidman <> , Juliette Binoche <> , Tom Cruise <> , Jennifer Lopez <> , Chris Rock <> , Jamie Foxx <> , Sean Combs <> , Liv Tyler <> , Jennifer Connelly <> , and countless others. Susan Batson is the author of the book Truth: Personas, Needs, and Flaws In The Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters and has been profiled in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Backstage.

Over its more than two-decade history, the Dustys has introduced many graduates of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department who have gone on to earn national and international recognition.  Alumnus and Los Angeles-based film producer Randall Emmett (BFA 1994 Film and Video) has teamed up with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson to shoot a series of films in West Michigan.  Among the accomplishments of last year’s graduates of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department, Joe Minasi (BFA 2010 Film and Video) and Rob Kolodny (BFA 2010 Film and Video) have been awarded prizes for their thesis films. Minasi’s film In the Key of D was winner of the Best Student Film in the Silk City Flick Festival; Best Picture and Best Cinematography in the NYC Filmmakers Film Festival; as well as Best Picture of the Audience Choice award in the East End Film Festival. Kolodny was also awarded Best Set Design and Best Cinematography in the Manalapan Film Festival for his film Shelter, and his film, Land of Nod was screened at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives. Dot, a short comedy directed and produced by 2010 NYWIFT Next Wave scholarship recipient Bennett Elliott (BFA 2010 Film and Video), kicks off the Garden State Film Festival this year.  Also at the same festival, Kyle Mumford (BFA 2010 Film and Video) will have a special sneak screening of his first feature film, His Naked Mind. Alumnus William Wedig’s (BFA 2006 Film and Video) film Forged was named the Best Domestic Feature at the 2010 New York International Latino Film Festival. Another Dusty Film and Animation Award recipient making headlines is Jake Armstrong (BFA 2009 Animation).  His animation The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9! was featured on the website Cartoon Brew. Notable alumni of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department at SVA also includes Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film and Video), who won a 2010 Academy Award for his score for Up.

2011 Festival Schedule
Friday, May 6 – Monday, May 9: Screenings*
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Screening schedule will be available on the Dustys Web site in late April.

Saturday, May 7: Screenwriters Night
SVA Theatre, 6:30pm

Sunday, May 8:  Animation Screenings*
SVA Theatre 7:00 – 11:30pm

Tuesday, May 10: Awards Ceremony
SVA Theatre, 6:30pm

RSVP is required for Screenwriters Night and Awards Ceremony.
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 Web site: <>

The 2011 Dusty Film and Animation Festival headlining sponsors include AbelCine, Act Zero Films, Adorama Rental Company, AJA Video Systems, Animation Magazine, Avid Technology, Inc., Boxx Technologies, CAVASVA Computer Store, The Eastman Kodak Company, Feature Systems / Kits and Expendables, Foto Care, Gotham Sound and Communications, Inc., National Board of Review, New York Women in Film & Television, Nice Shoes, Panavision New York, SCS Agency, Inc., Sony Electronics, Inc., and Susan Batson Studio.

The Dusty Film and Animation Festival 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. BFA Film, Video and Animation 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 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.


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