Student Accomplishments 2009-2010

An honor roll of prizes, gigs, productions and publications

student accomplishments

Commencement is a celebration of the accomplishments of our students as they set forth on the next stage of their professional journey. In that spirit we offer the following extensive list of some of the outstanding work they have done and the accolades they have received during the past academic year.

As long and impressive as the list is in its current form, rounding up information on everything of note our amazing students have accomplished in any given year is a truly monumental task.

We expect to be adding to this already astonishing honor roll over the days ahead, so be sure to check back for updates.

The School presents more than 300 scholarships and fellowships, totaling about $1 million, to deserving students each year. These awards are supported by generous donations from many individuals, corporations and foundations. The following roster of student achievements does not include those awards. Click here for a complete list.


  • Baldwin's short film “Papiroflexia” screened at 130 festivals, including the International Short Film Festival, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival and the National Gallery of Art Environmental Film Festival.
  • The same film won 22 awards, including Best of Fest, Animation and Best Narrative Short, Audience Award, at the Lake County Film Festival.
  • His Spotlight-winning and Annie-nominated short film “Sebastian's Voodoo” screened at 185 festivals, including Sitges, the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival, the California Independent Film Festival and the Honolulu Film Festival.
  • The film has won 94 awards, including the Animation Silver Medal at the Student Academy Awards, the Audience Award for Best Film at the Alexandria Film Festival and Best Animated Short at the Phoenix Film Festival.
  • "Sebastian's Voodoo" screened on the KCET (PBS) television series “Fine Cut” on May 27. For complete lists of his many festival appearances and awards, visit Baldwin’s website.

TONY BEST MA '10 Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS)

  • Two articles published in WaxPoetics magazine: "Inner City Hues: The saga of Hey Good Lookin,' Ralph Bakshi's fractured masterpiece," (No. 37) and "The Jacksons: Can You Feel It?" (No. 41)
  • Article “Urban Design: the Cartoon Genius of Ralph Bakshi,” published in "Animatrix: A Journal of the UCLA Animation Workshop" (2010)
  • “Loud Colors: A History of the Animated Rock Opera,” published in “Animatrix: A Journal of the UCLA Animation Workshop" (2009)
  • Digital Restoration Intern, “The Ultimate Goldbergs” DVD – released by Shout! Factory and the UCLA Film & Television Archive (2010)
  • Editor, “The Ultimate Goldbergs” DVD restoration bonus feature – available on the DVD and streamed on the Archive’s website (2010).
  • ARSC Archival Finding Aide: The Robert Abel & Associates Collection ( 2010)

JOHN BRIIDGE Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "Playing 9/11: The Virtual World Trade Center in Online Computer Games" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles).

ROGER BROWN MA '10 Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS)

  • Article "Ghetto Fabulous: Inner City Car Culture, the Law, and Authenticity: InterActions" published in "UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies" 6.1
  • Paper "Rode Hard: Damage, Digitality, and the Fetishization of Wear" accepted at the 31st Southwest Texas Popular Culture conference (Albuquerque, February 2010).
  • Paper “Moving Images Without Edges: Archival Tradition, Memory, and Hypermodernity” invited to The Visual Archive: The Moving Image and Memory workshop, Centre for Research Social-Cultural Change (Open University, Scotland, May 28-29).

EMILY CARMAN Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "The Star Contract and Film Historiography: Onscreen Legend and Off-screen Industrial Practice in Robert Aldrich's The Big Knife [1955]" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference.

JONATHAN COHN Cinema & Media Studies

  • Jack K. Sauter Award for Television Critical Writing
  • Paper "Automating Cinephilia: The Netflix Prize and the Science of Recommending Films" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
  • Paper "The Gloss of the Screen: Captromancy, Daniel Rozin and the Digital Self-Representation" presented at the UCI Visual Studies Conference. (Irvine)
  • Paper "The Netflix Prize: Collaborative Filtering and Cinephilia" at Cinematic Desire conference (CUNY Graduate Center)
  • Paper "The Virtual Aesthetics of Cosmetic Surgery: The Pleasure in Imagining the Body Morphed" presented at the Thinking Gender Conference (UCLA)
  • Paper "Filming (In)expressible Grief: Misplaced Affect and the Interviewee" presented at Visible Evidence XVI (USC)


  • Article "Trashy Robots: Desire and Disposability in Patricia Yaeger's 'Luminous Trash: Throwaway Robots in "Blade Runner," the "Terminators," "A.I.," and "Wall-E"" published in "UCLA Center for the Study of Women Newsletter" (June 2009)
  • Paper "Lost Girls and Liminal Spaces: Searching for the Disappeared Subject in Hardcore and Picnic at Hanging Rock" presented at SCMS Conference
  • Paper "Missing in the Media: Disappearance, Identity and the Liminal Subject in Missing Person Narratives" presented at the Cultural Studies Association Conference (Berkeley)
  • Paper "Cinema of Minors: Politics of Genre and Gender in American Teen Films of the 1980s" presented at Thinking Gender (UCLA)

STEVE CUDEN MFA '10 Screenwriting

  • Screenplay "The Sweetest Christmas" optioned by Silver Lion Films.

AMY JO DAMITZ MA '10 Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS)

  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award
  • Association of Moving Image Archivists' CFI Sid Solow Scholarship
  • Accepted by International Federation of Film Archives' (FIAF) Film Restoration Summer School (Bologna, Italy)

JAMES DARRAH MFA '10 Theater Directing

  • Princess Grace Foundation — Theater Scholarship: Robert and Gloria Hausman Theater Award

ALEX DIAZ & JULIE SAGALOWSY Production/Directing

  • Developed TV series “What’s Up Warthogs!” that went to pilot for Family Channel Canada.

DAWN FRATINI Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "A Very Special Prism: The Adventures of Sodium Vapor Image Separation Technology in the Cold War Era" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
  • Paper "Traveling Matte Photography in the Atomic Era" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)

DAWN GARCIA '10 Production/Directing

  • Class project film “The Castle” screened at Cannes Film Festival

JASON GENDLER Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "Saul Bass and Title Design: Intention and Reception, Production Integration, and Historical Contextualization" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
  • Paper "The Narration of Beginnings and The Blue Gardenia" presented at the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image 2010 Conference (Roanoke)

HARRISON GISH Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "America's First Person Shooters: Violent Interactions with US History" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)

ANDREY GORDIENKO Cinema & Media Studies

  • Collegium for Teaching Fellows Award
  • Teaching undergrad class "Videogames: History, Theory and Criticism” Spring, 2011
  • Paper "To Live and Die Like an Animal: The Sovereign Hero in Kihachi Okamoto's ‘The Sword of Doom‘" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
  • Paper “Avatars in Stasis?” will be presented at the conference – Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment (Oxford)
  • Paper “The Advancing Avatar: Projections of the Self in Literature, Film and Videogames” to be presented at the Association for Cultural Studies CrossRoads Conference (Hong Kong)
  • Paper “Call of Duty and the Telling of History” presented at SCMS (Los Angeles). Accepted for publication by "Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture"
  • Paper “America’s First Person Shooters: Violent Interactions with Historical Narratives” presented at the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Annual Conference (Albuquerque)
  • Article “Refiguring Rambo: Competing Imperatives in the High Concept War Film" published in CineAction

NICOLE H. GORDON Production/Directing

  • Mary Door Gordon Scholarship in Media
  • Ethel O. Gardner Foundation Scholarship
  • Caucus Foundation sponsored internship at Morningstar

ERIN HILL Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "The Gendering of Film and Television Casting" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
  • Chapter "Distributed Creativity" published in "Production Studies Reader" (Blackwell), co-written with John Caldwell, Eric Vanstrom and Michael Clarke
  • Chapter "Hollywood Assistanting" published in "Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries" (Routledge)

SHARON HILL Production/Directing

  • Directors Guild of America Student Film Awards — Jury Prize, African-American, for “Shades of Gray”

ALISON HOFFMAN PhD'10 Cinema & Media Studies

  • UCLA's Center for the Study of Women – Mary Wollstonecraft Dissertation Award
  • Chapter "The Persistence of (Political) Feelings and Hand-Touch Sensibilities: Miranda July's Feminist Multimedia-Making" published in "There She Goes: Feminist Filmmaking and Beyond. (Wayne State)
  • Paper "Home Bodies: Women's Cinematic Experiments in [Re-]Inhabiting Domestic Space" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)

GILLIAN HORVAT Cinema & Media Studies

  • Archive Research & Study Center (ARSC) – Student Research Award for "My Living Doll: Androids and the Social Construction of Femininity"

BRIAN HU Cinema & Media Studies

  • Paper "Rebranding the Cinemas of Hong Kong and Taiwan: The Cosmopolitan Labor and Technology of Global Film Markets" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
  • Chapter "'Bruce Lee After Bruce Lee: A Life in Conjectures" published in Chinese FilmStars (Routledge, forthcoming)
  • Chapter "Formula 17: Mainstreams in the Margins" published in "Chinese Films in Focus II" (BFI)

ALEX JABLONSKI MFA '09 Production/Directing

  • TFT thesis film “Blue Boy” screened at the Tribeca, Miami, Rhode Island and Huesca film festivals

ETANA JACOBSON Screenwriting

  • Working at Union Entertainment, a film, games and television production company, as a writer/director
  • Working with Ubisoft France (“Prince of Persia”) writing story treatments for a new game system
MARIA KABANOVA MFA '10 Producers Program
  • London Young Film Festival — screenplay “The Limbic Syndrome” shortlisted
  • Developed treatments for the 16-episode first season of one-hour TV show “Pilots and Girlfriends” for Cinemotion Group
EDWARD KIM Production/Directing
  • Directors Guild of America Student Film Awards — West Coast Winner, Asian-American, for “To Wander in Pandemonium”
JEFFREY KING Screenwriting
  • 2010 Rx Laughter Primetime Television Writing Competition — Special Recognition Semi-Finalist for a “How I Met Your Mother” spec script
ROB KOTECKI Screenwriting
  • Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award— second place (tie) for "Blowback"
  • Paper "Dramatic Loft Living: Gentrification in the Contemporary Cinematic City" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
  • Chapter “‘Just an anonymous room': Cinematic Hotels and Motels as Mnemonic Purgatories” published in "Moving Pictures/Stopping Places: Hotels and Motels on Film" (Rowman + Littlefield)
  • Co-editor of "Toronto on Film" published by Toronto International Film Festival (Wilfred Laurier)
  • Performed in the professional equity production of world premiere musical "Nightmare Alley," directed at the Geffen Playhouse by UCLA professor Gilbert Cates. Watch our video interview.
ROSS LENIHAN Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "The Specter of the Real: How Jim Jarmusch’s 'Dead Man' Re-Envisions the Acid Western and Investigates Genocide" presented at the Southwest and Texas Popular Culture Association Conference (Albuquerque)
  • Article "The New Real: Issues of Global/Local in Contemporary Documentary " to be published in Mediascape
JESSICA McMUNN MACIAS Production/Directing
  • Directors Guild of America Student Film Awards — West Coast Jury Prize, Latino, for “Soleil”
  • “Soleil” screened on the KCET (PBS) television series “Fine Cut” on May 27
ELI MAEL Screenwriting
  • Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award — second place (tie) for “Oaktown”
PUJA MAEWAL Production/Directing
  • Fulbright Student Scholarship to complete thesis film in India, a grant jointly sponsored by U.S. and Indian governments
DAVID MARTIN-PORRAS MFA '10 Production/Directing
  • Directors Guild of America Student Film Award — West Coast winner, Latino for “Ida y Vuelta”
ROSS MELNICK PhD '10 Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "From Broadway to Bombay: Paramount and Loew's Establish Multinational Theater Circuits in Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
CORY MILLER Production/Directing
  • New York Festivals International Film and TV Awards — World Silver Medal for 2010 Spotlight film “Allen Mack”
SACHIKO MIZUNO Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Orchestrating Modern Nation: Japanese Urban Fantasy Musicals of the 1930s" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
NICK MOCERI MFA '10 Producers Program
  • 13th Brooklyn International Film Festival — short film "Megafauna" official Selection, AFI Jean Picker Firstenberg Award for Excellence
JENNIFER MOORMAN Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Explicitly Feminist: Women Sexperimental Filmmakers" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
  • Chapter "Gay for Pay, Gay For(e)play: The Politics of Taxonomy and Authenticity in LGBTQ Online Pornography" published in " Making Sense of Online Pornography" (Peter Lang)
  • Chapter "'Kinda Gay': Queer Cult Fandom and Willow's (Bi)Sexuality in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'" published in "A Dragon Wrecked My Prom: Teen Wizards, Mutants, and Heroes (Lexington)
DREW MORTON Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Winsor McCay and the Adaptation of the Graphic/Cinematic Frame" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
  • Otis Ferguson Memorial Award in Critical Writing
  • Chaired panel discussion "Comic Book Films and the Adaptation of Aesthetics” at SCMS (Los Angeles)
  • Article “Sketching Under the Influence? Winsor McCay and the Question of Aesthetic Convergence Between Comic Strips and Film” published in "Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal" (Forthcoming)
  • Chapter "Portrait of the Artist as a Struggling Filmmaker: Reading 'Schizopolis' as a form of Philosophical Autobiography." The Philosophy of Steven Soderbergh (Kentucky)
  • Article “Towards a New Genre of Video Game Play” published in "Senses of Cinema" (co-written with David O’Grady and Jennifer Moorman)
CHRISTIE NITTRAUER Theater and Performance Studies
  • UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Graduate Division — Irving and Jean Stone Dissertation Year Fellowship for “Stand-up Revolution: Transgressive and Transnational Comedy by Women in the U.S. and Sweden”
DAVID O'GRADY Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Beyond the Button: New Video Game Interfaces and the Implications for Embodiment, Performance, and Play" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
ERHEN PARKS MFA '10 Screenwriting
  • Produced short film “Goin’ Nowhere Fast,” which played the Little Rock, San Antonio and Zero Film Festivals
PAULA PEREZ Cinema & Media Studies
  • Chapter "James Bond in Popular and World Culture: The Films Are Not Enough" in “The Masculinity of James Bond: Sexism, Misogyny, Racism, and the Female Character” (Scholar's Press)
JENNIFER PORST Cinema & Media Studies
  • SCMS Student Writing Award – “The 16mm Case: Hollywood’s Feature Films and Early Television”
  • Paper “From Paper to Blog: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and Media Studies Publishing” presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
  • Paper “The U.S. v. Twentieth Century Fox et al.: How the Forced Disclosure of Documents in Legal Cases Provides an Invaluable Resource for Researchers” presented at On, Archives! Conference (Madison).
  • Article “This Is What’s Really Cool About NFL Films: An Interview with Margaret Ruffing-Morris” published in Mediascape.
  • Article “Towards a New Genre of Video Games” published in Mediascape
MICHAEL RAMOS ARAIZAGA MA '10 Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS)
  • Association of Moving Image Archivists — Sony Pictures Scholarship
  • Mix Mexico Film Festival 2010 – Documentary Workshop film "Cassandro, El Extico," Honorific Mention, Ulises Carrión Prize for Best Mexican Film
NINA RAO MA '10 Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS)
  • Women in Film Foundation Fellowship
  • Campus Film Awards — Best Actor for “The Butterfly King." (Reinacher co-produced the short film, made by UCLA students from several programs, which screened at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals. TFT actors in the cast include Mikey Hawley, Julie Alexander, Lesley Hollingsworth, Kylie Alesso and Anne Lane.)
NICOLETTE ROBINSON '10 Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program
  • Princess Grace Foundation — Theater Scholarship
  • Gant Gaither Theater Award
ALICE ROYER MA '10 Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) SUDEEP SHARMA Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Surveillance, Crime, and the Modernist/Postmodernist City in Fritz Lang and HBO's The Wire" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference.
SAMANTHA N. SHEPPARD Cinema & Media Studies
  • Archive Research & Study Center (ARSC) – Student Research Award
  • "Radically Reimagining Rebellion: Historicity and Black Agency in 'The Spook Who Sat by the Door'" (1973)
BENJAMIN SHER Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Political Pleasures: Feminism and the Revitalization of Cinephilia" presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
JASON SKONIECZNY Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "The Vertical Dimension of Abstract Space in Carl Dreyer's Silents" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
LAUREN SLUSSER '10 Production/Directing
  • Internships at Pixar Animation Studios, National Geographic Films and Nickelodeon Animation
  • Robert C. Byrd Scholarship
  • Acacia Fraternity Frank H. Reinsch Memorial Scholarship for academic merit
MAYA MONTAÑEZ SMUKLER Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Diary of a Hollywood Feminist: Eleanor Perry and the Liberation of New Hollywood" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
ILIANA SOSA Production/Directing
  • National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Scholarship 2009
  • Boyle Heights Latina Independent. Film Festival – “Best in Theme with the Festival” for film “Dignifed.”
DANIEL STEINHART Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Iced Coin, Labor, and Backgrounds: Debates and Configurations of Hollywood Foreign Productions in the Postwar Era" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
TESS SWEET Production/Directing
  • Film “Annie in the Aisle of Irma,” an official selection at New Filmmakers LA, Sacramento International Film Festival and Santa Cruz Film Festival (Audience Award)
JUSTIN TAN '10 Production/Directing
  • C.E.C. Shorttakes Student Film Festival — Best Story for thesis film “Karma’s a Bitch”
MICHELLE TON Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Being 'Less than Dust': Reconciling an Exilic Destiny in the Beautiful Country” presented at SCMS (Los Angeles)
JOSEPH TREMBA MFA '10 Screenwriting
  • Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award — First Place for "The Shoeshine Girl"
PHIL WAGNER Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Sound Ideas: Fanchon & Marco Inc. and the World of Talking Pictures" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference.
LAUREL WESTRUP Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Dragging the Bottom: The Place of Detritus in Punk Cinema" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference.
JULIA WRIGHT Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Threads for a Yarn: Kinuyo Tanaka and the Fragments of a History" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference
MILA ZUO Cinema & Media Studies
  • Paper "Banned in China: The Necessary S-exile of Chinese Cinefeminism" presented at 2010 Society for Media Studies Conference