Opportunities

Michael S. Roif Award

Roif AwardsThe Award

The Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies is a competitive annual prize awarded to students whose works of filmmaking and film scholarship demonstrate exceptional creativity and accomplishment. The award is based upon a gift, made by his family, in honor of Michael S. Roif, a University alumnus and film enthusiast. For over 20 years, the Roif family, through the endowment of the Michael S. Roif Award, has promoted fim students in their undergraduate work at UMass Amherst and inspired career successes beyond graduation.Roif winners have been accepted into prestigious graduate programs and film schools, and some have showcased their works at renowned film festivals and are enjoying very successful careers in the film industry and other related fields

Nominations

Instructors of courses in film studies may nominate up to two students. Students may not apply directly. Nominees must be university Undergraduate Film Studies Certificate students or students in the Film Studies concentration who have completed a film/video/moving-image-media project in a UMass film studies course taken during the past three semesters. Award winners must be undergraduates in good standing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst at the time the award is conferred.

Awards Ceremony takes place every year on the First Friday of May. Winners must be present.

For Faculty: Nomination Form
For Winners: Showcase Release Form

 


Award Recepients


Roif Awards 2023
The 23rd Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

PODCAST
Honorable Mention
Kaliska Wiley – “King of Hearts and The Jerk” (podcast, 24:35, 5 min excerpt)

BEST DESKTOP FILMMAKING
2nd Place
Jason Rollins – “Two-Way Mirror” (desktop video, 22:00)
1st Place
Kiefer Callewaert – “The Final Girl” (desktop video, 16:00)

BEST VIDEO ESSAY
Robert Greeley – “The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick” (video essay, 5:02)

BEST SCREENPLAY
2nd Place 
Kathleen “Katie” Ellsworth - “Night, Love You” (screenplay, 5 min excerpt)

BEST 16mm FILMMAKING
Lucas Fappiano – “The Commerce of Cattle” (16mm film, hand-processed black-and-white, 4:54)

BEST NARRATIVE VIDEO
Ryan Haideri – “The Years That Separate Us” (narrative video, 20:45)

BEST IN COMPETITION (co-winners)
Jeanne Grutchfield – “Death and Other Misunderstandings” (screenplay, 5 min excerpt)
Brock England – “Roads to Nowhere” (documentary video, 8:00)
 


Roif Awards 2022
The 22nd Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

BEST IN COMPETITION
Emily Su Bin Ko – Videographic Essay – “Echo of Dreams in Cinema” 
VIDEO LINK
 
BEST FILMMAKING
Andrew Connelly – Production (video) – “Last Train” 
VIDEO LINK 
 
RECOGNITION FOR TACKLING IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES 
1st place: Elizabeth Jacobs – Multiscreen video production with voiceover – “Euphoria and Malolm &
Marie: A Multiscreen Video Essay" 
VIDEO LINK
2nd place: Mya McKinnon – Production (video) – “You Might Not Find The One But You Will Find
Someone” 
VIDEO LINK 

BEST ALTERNATIVE DISCOURSE
Sydney Maniaci – Production (video) – “A Girl’s Life to Live” 
 
HONORABLE MENTION FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY AND CAMERA WORK 
Derek Hunter – 16mm film
VIDEO LINK
 
RECOGNITION FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH CREATIVE FILM PRODUCTION 
Ryan Haideri


Roif Awards 2020 and 2021 (combined- 2020 ceremony was cancelled due to pandemic)
The 20th and 21st Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies

BEST IN COMPETITION
Benjamin Sepinuck - The podcast: “Franchise Feed: 2021 Oscars Special Edition” 

FILM AND VIDEO
Joseph Weingrad - Phuntsock (documentary)

SCREENPLAYS
2nd Place: Casey Shanahan - For here or to go 
1st Place: Angela Park - White Tiger

TEACHING
2nd Place: Ben Sepinuck - Teaching Assistant for Latin American Cinema Course 
1st Place: Emily Ko - Asian Gynocine Project 

PODCAST 
Emily Ko, Jacky Celestino, Sheila Dillon, Joseph Torres - UMasssterclass hosts and crew 

SHORT EXPERIMENATL FILM
2nd Place: Jessica Maldonado - Improv 
1st Place: Sam Huntley - It won’t be a stylish marriage 

VIDEOESSAYS
 2nd Place: Benjamin Sepinuck - Aspect Ratios: Film Form’s Most Underrated Tool”
1st Place: Emily Ko - Hunger: Kingdom and the Sociopolitical Zombie


Roif Awards 2019 
The 19th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies


Winners of Roif 2019

BEST IN COMPETITION
Corey Stein ('19, Communication)
"Twenty Years to Say Hello"

BEST NARRATIVE FICTION VIDEO
Theodore Warmington ('19, Communication)
"Cursive & Cardstock"

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Maria Manning ('19, Journalism)
"Keeping Shop"

BEST SCORE
Corey Shaya ('20, Journalism)
"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia"

BEST SCREENPLAY
Aidan Knowles ('21, HFA)
"Release Form"


Roif Awards 2018

The 18th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

BEST IN COMPETITION FILM
Kevin Rogers ('18, BDIC)
“Search Dogs”

BEST IN COMPETITION SCREENPLAY
Charlie Turner ('18, English)
“Paper Faces”

BEST DIRECTOR
Troy Lustick ('20, Comparative Literature)
“Monkey”

BEST SCREENWRITER
Lizzy Keery ('18, Communication/English)
“One Way Street”

BEST WEBISODE
Alexa Rockwell ('18, Communication/Journalism) and Alexander Hagani ('18, Communication)
“Boys to Men - Episode 5: The Finale”

BEST VIDEOGRAPHIC ESSAY
Sarah Etkin ('18, Communication/Theater)
“(Not So) Little Lies: A Candid Portrayal of Domestic Abuse”


Roif Awards 2017

The 17th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

BEST IN COMPETITION
Nathan Frontiero (’17, English) of Gloucester, Massachusetts, for
"Under the Score: Film Music as Consciousness in Under the Skin" - Film Criticism Podcast  (writer, narrator)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
Robert J. Hunt, Jr. (’17, Communication) of Natick, Massachusetts, for
"Kevin Harrington" (writer, director, cinematographer)

BEST NARRATIVE FILM
Kevin Rogers (’18, BDIC) of Gloucester, Massachusetts, for
"Tandem" (writer, director, cinematographer)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Jake Quinn (’19, Marketing/BDIC) of Attleboro, Massachusetts, for
"Verbatim" (writer)


Roif Awards 2016

The 16th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Anthony Spano for
"All That We Know" - Screenplay (writer)

SECOND PLACE
Alexander Hagani for
"Boys to Men - Episode 3: Friday" - Narrative Video (writer, director, actor, producer, editor)

Jackson Kapinos for
"Take Me Out" - Music Video (writer, director, lead actor)

HONORABLE MENTION
Kacie Quinn for
"Partners in Time - Episode 3: The Time They Start a Swordfight” - Narrative Video (co-writer, director)


Roif Awards 2015

The 15th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Josef Aziz Ameur ('15, Communication/English) for
"Infinity's Noose" - Screenplay

SECOND PLACE
Alexander David Kamb ('15, Communication) for
"Daruma-san: The Bath Game" - Experimental Video (writer, director, cinematographer, editor)


Roif Awards 2014

The 14th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Christopher R. Martin ('14, English) for
"Love Triangles: Homosexuality and Sexual Identity in Laura and Gilda" - Essay

SECOND PLACE
Andrew J. Pollack ('14, Comparative Literature) for
"The Henry Holmes Motel" - Film

HONORABLE MENTION
Alexander Bilodeau ('14 Theater/BDIC) for
"Faust" - Film

Taylor Avery Garron ('15, Communications)
"Last Comic Standing: The Rise and Fall of the Independent Comic Store" - Film


Roif Awards 2013

The 13th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Tyler Clayton Appel ('15, BDIC) of Foxborough, Massachusetts for
"Leaving Home" - Narrative Video (producer, co-writer, co-music, lead actor)

SECOND PLACE
Kadyrose Druar ('13, Journalism) of Franklin, Massachusetts for
"Paper Mirrors" - Documentary Video (co-director)

Mariah C. Muscato ('13, Communication) of Easton, Massachusetts for
"Paper Mirrors" - Documentary Video (co-director)

HONORABLE MENTION
Andrew J. Pollack ('14, Communication) of Teaneck, NJ for
"The Tell-Tale Heart" - Narrative Video (director, adaptation for the screen)


Roif Awards 2012

The 12th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
The prize for First Place this year is a tie between two nominees—an original screenplay and film production.
Edwin Cabrera ('13, Communication) for
"Rouge" - Screenplay (writer)

Tye Whippel ('13, BDIC) for
"Honeysuckle" - Film (writer, director, cinematographer, writing credits shared by Adrian Atwood)


Roif Awards 2011

The 11th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Megan Tucei ('11, Communication) of Westport, Connecticut for
"Common Law" - Screenplay (writer)

SECOND PLACE
Geoffrey King ('12, Studio Art) of Hudson, Massachusetts for
"May There Always Be Sunshine" - Narrative Video (writer, director, cinematographer)

HONORABLE MENTION
Zachary Goodale ('11, Communication) of Westminster, Massachusetts for
"My Moon, My Man" - Narrative Video (co-director, cinematographer)

Erica Pulcini ('11, Communication) of Putnam Valley, New York for
"My Moon, My Man" - Narrative Video (co-director, writer)


Roif Awards 2010

The 10th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Mariel Adams ('12, Psychology) of Amherst, Massachusetts for
"Without Regard" - Documentary (director, cinematographer, editor)

SECOND PLACE
Jeromie Whalen ('10, History) of Belchertown, Massachusetts for
"Purgatory: Historical Analysis of the Belchertown State Schools" - Documentary (producer, co-director, editor, co-cinematographer)


Roif Awards 2009

The 9th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Benjamin C. Leonberg ('10, BDIC/Communication) for
"Smyle" - Narrative Video

SECOND PLACE
Jason E. Scheer ('09, BDIC) for
"I" - Narrative Video

HONORABLE MENTION
Sage A. Freddura ('10 Finance/Operations Management) for
"Passageways" - Experimental Video

Mary L. Savarese ('09, BDIC) for
"Media Literacy and Community Service Learning" - Documentary Video


Roif Awards 2008

The 8th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Benjamin Sidney ('09, Anthropology) for
"KRV-1732" - Narrative Video

HONORABLE MENTION
Garrett Jones ('08, Psychology) for
"Coming Around" - Screenplay

Jessika Weise ('08, English) for
"The Landing"


Roif Awards 2007

The 7th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Benjamin Sidney ('08, Anthropology) of Florence, Massachusetts for
"Vis a Vis" - Narrative Video

SECOND PLACE
Thomas Curcuro ('07, Communication) of Gloucester, Massachusetts and
Perry Crowell ('07, Communication) of Sudbury, Massachusetts for
"Threshold" - Narrative Video

HONORABLE MENTION
Michael Dunn ('09, Communication) of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts for
"Camera" - Narrative Video

Todd Schmeling ('08, BFA-Art) of Manasquan, New Jersey for
"Strange Wind" - Narrative Video


Roif Awards 2006

The 6th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Andrew Smith ('06, Mechanical Engineering) for
"Exit 1C" and "Pentax" - Narrative Video and Screenplay

SECOND PLACE
Sean George ('06, Theater) for
"Ebb and Flo" - Narrative Video

HONORABLE MENTION
Joseph Piedrafite ('06, Communication/English) for
"The Sopranos: You May Kiss the Bride" - Teleplay

Elizabeth James ('06, Communication) for
"Annie Knows Jack" - Screenplay


Roif Awards 2005

The 5th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

FIRST PLACE
Andrew Bertino ('06) for
"Below the Horizon" - Feature-Length Screenplay

SECOND PLACE
April May ('05) for
"In Ads We Trust" - Documentary

HONORABLE MENTION
Aimée Blaquière ('05) and
Michael Di Salvo ('05) for
"Hi :-)" - Narrative


Roif Awards 2004

The 4th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

CO-WINNERS
Ben Garry ('04) for
"Move"

Christopher O'Coin ('04) for
"The Making of Codes"

HONORABLE MENTION
Paul Brennan III ('04) for
"It's About This Girl"


Roif Awards 2003

The 3rd Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

CO-WINNERS
Adrian H. D'Errico ('04) for
"Amen" - Screenplay

Michael A. Oullette ('03) for
"Dora's Shoebox" - Screenplay and Video

HONORABLE MENTION
Sam P. Neudel ('03) for
"Rap Tap" - Video


Roif Awards 2002

The 2nd Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

CO-WINNERS
Kelby T. Akin ('05) for
"The Routine" - Video

Daniel E. Murray ('02) for
"Now Until Nightfall" - Screenplay


Roif Awards 2001

The 1st Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment presented to Undergraduate Certificate Students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies:

CO-WINNERS
Kathleen D. Lynch for
"The Kiss" - Film

Michael Kaplan for
"The Reo Existence" - Video