The Robert E. Pristo Filmmaking Awards

A New Award for Student Filmmakers at Duke

The Robert E. Pristo Filmmaking Awards provide funding for production and/or post-production expenses related to film-related projects proposed or in progress by Duke undergraduate and graduate students.

Applicants must be currently enrolled and be in good standing with their college or school.

The awards are named in honor of Robert E. Pristo, and the generous gift of The Robert E. Pristo Foundation, who wished to support student filmmaking and encourage film students to create, innovate, explore and achieve.

In choosing awardees, the faculty selection committee will look for evidence of your academic preparation, your qualifications for completing the project, a timetable for bringing the work to completion, and a detailed budget. Personal equipment (cameras, computers, etc.) should not be included in the budget. The award may not be used for donations or tuition for course credit. Each project will be evaluated on its merits. The project must be film-related, and able to be completed within one year of the award date. Award winners will be asked to sign a contract addressing use of funds and providing reports to the committee and the donor.

Approximately 1-3 awards will made each year of up to $1500.

Purpose: Cover production and/or post-production expenses for film-related projects

Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students

Time frame: To be completed within one year of receiving the funds

Funding: Up to $1500

Applicants are required to provide a Duke transcript and two letters of recommendation (at least one from a Duke faculty member). Questions? Write

Applications are currently open for the 2022-23 academic year. The deadline has been extended until Monday, November 14 at 5 p.m.

Evan Morgan ’19. Image courtesy of Duke AMI.

Previous Award Winners


Madison Cavalchire (MFA Experimental and Documentary Arts) and Maddie Stambler (MFA Experimental and Documentary Arts) for “The Unknown Metal Box”

Madison Hill (MFA Experimental and Documentary Arts) for “Light, Distance, Time”

Taylor Plett (English) for “The Western Doorway”


Sarah Derris (Visual and Media Studies) for “Nostalgia and the Countryside.”

Anya Dombrovskaya (Philosophy) for “Usya: Soviet Motherhood Through Generations.”

Emma Geiger (MFA, Experimental and Documentary Arts) for “Living Lightly.”

Miranda Gershoni (Literature) for “Destabilizing White.”


Katelyn Auger (MFA, Experimental and Documentary Arts  2021) for “We Grew Up Here.”

Chinonyelum Egbuna (Visual and Media Studies 2020) for “Poppy.”

Chloe Kaczmarek (MFA, Experimental and Documentary Arts; PhD, Romance Studies 2024) for “Santa Stories.”

Alex Morelli (MFA, Experimental and Documentary Arts 2020) for “A Good Bad Guy.”

James Robinson (Environmental Science and Policy/Documentary Studies 2020) for “Special Eyes.”

Recent Stories on Student Filmmakers

2019 Louis Sudler Prize Winner: Evan Morgan

Evan Morgan (T’19) has been awarded the 2019 Louis Sudler Prize, given to an outstanding senior in the creative and performing arts at Duke. Read on to learn more about Evan and his creative process.