Winners of the Second Annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival Announced

LOS ANGELES—The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA), announced the winners of the second annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival.

Held yesterday, Oct. 26, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., 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 United Kingdom and the United States.

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)

Audience Choice Award (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.) 

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

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.”

This is the second year that SMPTE and the HPA have hosted a student film festival in conjunction with the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition.