The Directors Guild of America announced Wednesday that the application period for the 27th annual DGA Student Film Awards is now open.

The awards “are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional direction by diverse student filmmakers in film schools and select universities across the country,” according to the DGA.

Winners receive a $2,500 prize from the DGA and have their films screened at the DGA Theater.

Over the years, the DGA Student Film Awards have highlighted dozens of Black, Asian American, Latino and women filmmakers, according to the guild.

A number of past winners have gone on to successful directing careers, including Jon M. Chu (“In the Heights,” “Home Before Dark,” “Crazy Rich Asians”), Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther,” “Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”), Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen; Castle Rock,” “Westworld; The Americans”) and Sylvain White (“The Rookie,” “`Fargo”).

Eligible films must be made in the 2020/2021 school year (September 2020 through August 2021), and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible, but animated films, experimental films, commercials, music videos and webisodes are not.

Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution located in the United States and selected by the DGA. Eligible films are those in which students hold every major crew position.

This year’s application period runs through Oct. 8. The application and submission process is entirely online. For more information, or to begin the application process, visit

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