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July 2, 2007

CCNY GRADUATING SENIOR IVAN BUKTA NAMED POINT FOUNDATION SCHOLAR FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Award to M.F.A.-Bound Student is one of 38 to Outstanding U.S. Students Who Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender

NEW YORK, July 2, 2007 – For the second year running, Ivan Bukta, who is expected to graduate from The City College of New York this September with a B.F.A. in film and video production, has received a Point Foundation scholarship for outstanding students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

A recipient of a similar scholarship in 2006, Mr. Bukta is one of 38 LGBT students from across the United States named 2007 Point Scholars, and the only repeat Scholar in the group.  In addition to monetary rewards, Point Scholars receive leadership training and mentoring from the Foundation.

“If it wasn’t for the Point Foundation, I could not even think about continuing my studies as a graduate student,” said Mr. Butka.  “Being a part of the Point Foundation has been a transformative, eye-opening experience."

After graduation, Mr. Bukta will continue his studies at CCNY as a graduate student in the College's M.F.A. in media arts production program.  He currently is an intern with Home Box Office in Manhattan, where he helps create spots and promos for the cable network's programming.

Born in Novi Sad, Serbia, and now residing in Manhattan, Mr. Bukta has written, produced, edited and directed eight short films to date.  They deal with subjects ranging from AIDS to the U.S. immigration system and modern pop culture.

For his B.F.A. senior thesis project, he wrote a 56-page critical analysis of James Cameron's blockbuster film Titanic. As a part of his community service project, he began documenting the oral history of Point Foundation scholars.

After graduate school, Mr. Bukta plans to pursue his long-time aspiration of working in the film industry as a screenwriter, editor and director.  He is currently writing an autobiographical screenplay that deals both with his experience as a refugee during the NATO bombing of Serbia and as an 18-year-old discovering his sexuality while living in Hungary.

Mr. Bukta credits CCNY for helping him pursue his dream.  “It has been a privilege to be a student at the City College of New York,” he said.  “This school has not only provided me with academic excellence but also opened doors and opportunities for networking and evolution of my creative vision that I could not imagine before coming to study here.”

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