Columbia University and Lincoln Center have paired up to present the university’s 26th annual film festival in May, where Columbia alum Adam Davidson will receive this year’s Andrew Sarris award for artistic achievement.
New York-based fest, which runs May 3 through 9, screens more than 40 thesis short films and and feature screenplays by MFA students at Columbia’s film program. Other activities will include a panel discussion and a pitch contest before the jury award ceremony on May 9.
The Andrew Sarris award recognizes artistic achievement by and service of Columbia alumni. Davidson’s directorial debut, “The Lunch Date,” won the Palme d’Or for short film at Cannes and the 1991 Oscar for live action short film. Since then, he has directed episodes of TV shows including “Six Feet Under,” “Lost” and “True Blood.”
Past recipients of the Andrew Sarris honor include Kathryn Bigelow and Lisa Cholodenko.
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“The Lunch Date” was one of many shorts to preem at the fest and went to win bigger awards: “Under,” directed by Mark Raso, won a gold medal in the narrative category at last year’s student Academy Awards, and “I am John Wayne,” helmed by Christina Choe, earned the grand jury Sparky award for short film at the 2012 Slamdance fest.
“Each year, the festival is an opportunity to take a step back and marvel at the amazing body of work that has been created by our students,” Ira Deutchman, chair of the Columbia University School of the Arts film program, said in a release announcing the fest and award on Monday. “We are very pleased that the Film Society is co-presenting the festival with us again this year. They are not only providing us a prestigious platform, but also validation of the quality of the work.”
Founded in 1969, the Film Society of Lincoln Center recognizes and supports new directors and works to enhance the understanding and awareness of film. In addition to organizing film series and special events, the org presents the New York Film Festival and the New Directors/New Films festival.