Film Studies Awards to Be Presented May 4 at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. - Undergraduate certificate students in the interdepartmental program in film studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be honored Friday, May 4 at noon in 301 Herter Hall at the presentation of the 12th annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies.

The first place award is being shared by Edwin Cabrera, a junior Communication major from Lynn, for his screenplay "Rouge," and senior Tye Stratford Whipple of Sherman Oaks, Calif., for the narrative video "Honeysuckle." Whipple is a bachelor’s degree with individual concentration (BDIC) student.

The other nominees were:

• Elyssa Nadine Budd, a sophomore BDIC major for her screenplay "Just a Peek"

• Sarah Deane Croog, a junior management student for the essay "In Love With Love: Francois Truffaut’s Portrayal of Male Fixation in Romance Through Voiceover Storytelling"

• Geoffrey David King, senior studio art major for his narrative video "A Descending Man"

• Eva Perogi Saltus, a junior English major for the essay "The Un-Definitive By Chance"

• Michael Joseph Stewart, a senior BDIC student for his narrative video "My Way"

The students, who were nominated for their work by film studies faculty, benefit both from the substantial cash prize and the official recognition of their achievements. The Roif family’s gift in memory of their son, Michael, a 1983 graduate who loved film and the arts, honors excellence and creativity by the university’s undergraduate certificate students in areas of film and video production such as screenwriting, direction, production, and cinematography or in cinema scholarship.

The award enhances the aspirations and achievements of winners selected from among more than 250 certificate students enrolled annually in the university’s film studies program, many of whom intend to pursue filmmaking or film studies professionally after graduation.

Shawn Shimpach, assistant professor of communication and chair of the 2012 selection committee for the Roif Award competition, will introduce the winners at the ceremony. An excerpted staged reading of the first-place screenplay and a screening of the first-place film will follow the presentation of the awards. The event is free and open to the public; a reception will conclude the event.