May 11, 2020

First Look 2020 Awardees Announced!

The USC School of Cinematic Arts Recognizes the Year’s Outstanding Student Films.

The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Office of Industry Relations today announced its First Look Awards for outstanding SCA student films. A jury of made up of industry professionals chose winners in six categories: Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Social Change, Thriller/Sci-fi/Horror. Awards were also given to individual students in seven specialties—Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Producing, Production Design, Screenwriting and Sound—with winners chosen by SCA faculty members.

Here’s a rundown of the winning films.

Industry Award-Winning Films:

Animation: Go! Go!—An alligator gets loose and spends his day in an amusement park, hoping to see the fireworks. Read additional coverage here.

Comedy: Piggy Bank Proposition—A precocious little girl strikes up a friendship with the hitman she propositions to kill her stepfather. Read additional coverage here.

Documentary: Breach of Trust—Survivors of sexual misconduct in USC's Student Health Center discuss institutional cover-ups and their fight for accountability and change. Read additional coverage here.

Drama: Kindling—After a sorority girl asks her estranged childhood friend to drive her to an abortion clinic, the two confront each other on the road about who they were and what they have become.

Social Change: La Ruta—A Guatemalan woman undertakes the journey to the U.S. border to seek asylum with her daughter, but first they must try and survive Mexico's infamous Route of Death.

Thriller/Sci-Fi/Horror: MoonchildAfter receiving a mysterious package on her birthday, 18 year old Lana goes on a journey to visit her father's grave, discovering the true significance of the package and and her father's death.

Faculty Award Winners:

Directing—Letia Solomon for The Cypher

Cinematography—Hark Xu for Dream With One Eye Open and Chaochen Li for Mr. Thisforthat

Editing—Roy Arwas for Welcome Back

Producing—Miles Alva and Wes Akwuobi for Variables

Production Design—Pimvenus Clark for Hanger’s Limb

Screenwriting—Jono Seneff for Dig

Sound—Lucas Bohlinger and Vern Hass for Milk Teeth

For a full list of nominated and winning films, and to watch trailers of all the films, go to the First Look 2020 page at