Cal State L.A. students win awards at CSU Media Arts Festival

Cal State L.A. winners at 2014 Media Arts FestivalLos Angeles, CA -- Five Cal State L.A. students have been named winners at the 2014 Media Arts Festival that was sponsored by the CSU Summer Arts program.  

A panel of industry experts chose 30 finalists out of 170 entries from 14 California State University campuses.  Awards were given categories:  animation, documentary, experimental, interactive, music video, narrative, television, feature screenplay, and short screenplay.

Cash awards are given for the First Place Rosebud Awards in each category and the Best in Show Rosebud Award. 

The five Cal State L.A. winners, who are from the TV, Film and Theatre MFA program, were announced at a recent awards ceremony. They are:

  • Ya Gao, director, received the First Place Rosebud Award and the Best in Show honor for her documentary, “Thai Elephant Home.” The video is a documentary on the history of domesticated Asian elephants, as well as the role they are playing in eco-tourism nowadays. Gao is a resident of Pasadena.
  • Yadi Zhao, director, received First Place Rosebud Award for her music video, “Horse Tears.” The video tells a story within a dream of two young ladies with the same face, same age and same name, but they live in two separate places. Zhao is a resident of Los Angeles.
  • Erik Boccio, director, and Morgan Sandler, director, received the Audience Choice Award and second place recognition for their music video, “The Ballerina.” Boccio is a Burbank resident and Sandler is a Los Angeles resident.
  • Todd Leiser, director, received third place for his short screenplay, “Control Zero.”  Leiser is a Vacaville resident.

2014 marked the 24th year of the Media Arts Festival, which allows students in the CSU system an opportunity to be in professional competition plus enjoy seminars by leading media professionals.

Visit for a full listing of all winners for the festival.  

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(Pictured l-r: Todd Leiser, Yadi Zhao, Ya Gao, and Morgan Sandler)


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