The David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts at Maharishi University of Management was a big winner at the Iowa Motion Pictures Association (IMPA) awards in Pella, Iowa on April 16th.
Class of 2015 alumna Monica Demes’ thesis project, Lilith’s Awakening, is a haunting and beautiful modern-day vampire film and is the first completed feature-length film from the David Lynch MFA Program. It was honored with four IMPA awards, including the award for Best Direction-Long Form, which went to Demes herself. Gregor Kresal, another graduate from 2015, picked up the award for Best Cinematography and Sophia Woodward, an undergraduate student at Maharishi University of Management, was named Best Actress for her performance as the film’s protagonist. Lilith’s Awakening was also honored in the last category of the evening with an Award of Achievement in Live Action Entertainment – Long Form.
Brenton Schwartz, an undergraduate student at Maharishi University of Management, submitted Kennedy Hill: The Behind the Scenes Web Series and won an Award of Achievement in Web Series. Schwartz has acted in and worked on five David Lynch MFA films since the program started in 2013. He has been working on multiple behind the scenes videos for Kennedy Hill, a David Lynch MFA thesis film written, produced and directed by class of 2015 graduate Jennifer Kachler. The short film is set in the late 1930s and tells the story of a 17 year-old girl, Grace, who discovers she’s adopted.
Current David Lynch MFA students Theresa Carey and Golnaz Jamsheed both received Awards of Achievement at the ceremony. Carey received her award in the Screenplay-Unproduced category for her script Swine Heart. Jamsheed accepted her award in the Student Production – College category for her short film Avo — the same film that won her a full scholarship to the David Lynch MFA that began in February. Avo tells the story of an Iranian-Armenian boy who experiences the concept of death through his grandfather’s passing.
This awards ceremony was the Iowa Motion Pictures Association’s 25th anniversary of celebrating filmmakers of Iowa. The IMPA “recognizes outstanding and technical achievement in Iowa’s moving image production industry”. The David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts is honored to be a part of this event and proud of its past graduates and current students, as well as the undergraduates who work on David Lynch MFA projects. They look forward to many more exciting projects from their students, and many more enlightening film festival experiences. To keep up to date with the goings on at the program, be sure to “like” the David Lynch MFA Facebook page.