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May 9, 2006


NEW YORK, May 9, 2006 – “6AM,” a short film by Carmen Vidal, a student in the M.F.A. in Media Arts Production program at The City College of New York, was selected as a national finalist for the 2006 Student Academy Awards. The film, a portrait of a quiet New York City in the last moments before dawn, was one of two finalists from among 149 entries in Region 3, which includes New York and Puerto Rico. The winners will be announced at a ceremony June 11 in Los Angeles.

Ms. Vidal is a second-year Cinematography major attending the M.F.A. program from her native Spain. “6AM” was created as a group project for Vidal’s “Producing and Directing the Documentary” class. She served as writer and director on the project. The other students from the class of 2006 who collaborated with her are: Octavio Warnock-Graham, director of photography; Sara Booth, editor; Ira Blanchard, second camera, and Piotr Kajustra, producer.

““6AM” wasn’t even a thesis project, so I never thought to even enter it. My editor, Sara, convinced me to give it a try.” Ms. Vidal said. “Most of the crew was there for the announcement of the finalists. We went crazy. I think we were the happiest people in the room.”

Although it is a documentary in the vein of Walter Ruttmann’s “Berlin – Symphony of a Great City” and Joris Ivens’ “Rain.” “6AM” was moved to the “Alternative” category in the regionals, because of its strong visuals and meditative quality.

The Student Academy Awards is a program of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and accepts national entries from three regions. The competition, now in its 33rd year, is designed to support and encourage filmmakers with no previous professional experience who are enrolled at accredited colleges and universities.

Vidal’s cinematography, along with the thesis work of this year’s graduating class in the M.F.A. in Media Arts Production, will be featured at Cityvisions, the annual festival and showcase of thesis films at The Clearview Theater, 62nd St. and Broadway, on Tuesday May 30 and Wednesday May 31 at 6PM. Pioneering documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker will be the keynote speaker.

For more information on the M.F.A. Program, go to To learn more about the Cityvisions festival visit

M.F.A. Program Contact:

Professor Dave Davidson, Director, (212) 650-7235