“Desert Snow” by Brian Strauss has received the 1993 Martin Ritt Award. Established in 1991, the $ 10,000 production award supports projects by students of the AFI’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies which embody the principles of the late filmmaker’s work, including such socially dynamic films as “Norma Rae,””Sounder” and “The Front.”
The story, by Strauss and Laura King, centers on a woman who takes ill from exposure to nuclear fallout. Set in the southwest in the 1950s, her courage and eccentricity has a decided effect on her community and, in particular, a disillusioned friend.
Previous winners include 1992 Oscar dramatic short nominee “Last Breeze of Summer” and “Helicopter,” a recent winner at the 11th annual Independent Filmmakers Competition.