N.Y. student filmmakers awarded $55K

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NEW YORK - The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures said Friday it is awarding a record $55,000 in grants this year to students at nine universities near or around the New York area for their student films.

The winners are being announced throughout the month at individual ceremonies at the schools. The winning films will be available for viewing on the Board Web site thereafter.

"As part of our ongoing core initiative for education and philanthropy in support of film, we are thrilled to be able to reward these promising film students and directors this year," said Annie Schulhof, president of the National Board of Review. "The growth of our grant program in recent years is something we are extremely passionate and proud of and hope to continue to strengthen in years to come."

Both undergraduate and graduate students were eligible to compete for the prizes, the Board said in a statement. Participating schools are Brooklyn College, City College, Columbia University, Hunter College, Ithaca College, New York University, School of Visual Arts, SUNY Purchase and Wesleyan University.

Each school received $6,000 to be distributed to the top student films. In addition, the $1,000 Charlie Andrews Award for film history will be presented to a Wesleyan student.

With the exception of Wesleyan, which selected its own winner, each school selected their top nominees and submitted them to the National Board of Review Student Grant Committee, which then chose its final winners.

Each grant will range from $1,000-$6,000 based on the number of winners from each participating university.

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