Funding opportunities: Awards, Prizes, and Scholarships



Department Awards, Prizes, and Scholarships


The Alexander Sesonske Prize for Best Scholarly Essay

is given annually for papers on topics ranging from film and television history to criticism and theory. The award was named after one of the founders and designer of our department. Submissions can be papers from your classes or new material written specially for the contest. Students should also consider submitting their work for publication in the Focus Media Journal.



Italian Heritage Prize

is sponsored by The Italian Heritage Foundation of Santa Barbara recognizing critical work focused on Italian film or television. This competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students but the work must come from a course taken during the current school year.



Distinction in the Field of Critical Studies

is presented each year at graduation to recognize promise in the field and acknowledge work of a student who may be bound for graduate school.



Distinction in the Major

is presented each year at graduation to recognize the completion of a senior honors project. This is a two-quarter process and is completed under the mentoring of a department faculty advisor.



The Dorothy and Sherrill C. Corwin Awards

have a long history within the department. Each year the Corwin Awards present prizes for screenwriting in both short format and feature work and for producing short films. Applicants must be enrolled at UCSB during the current academic year for at least one quarter.
Download the application and information packet



The Paul N. and Elinor T. Lazarus Scholarship

was established in memory of Paul Lazarus who taught screenwriting at UCSB for over 20 years. Many of his former students have gone on to write, produce, and direct major Hollywood films and television shows. The scholarship is designed to foster and develop a student’s focus on writing. It is open to Film and Media majors in their junior year. The scholarship recipient spends their senior year working in connection with an instructor to develop a new film or television screenplay.
Download the application and information packet



The Television Writing Award

is made possible by a donation from Rick Rosen (William Morris Endeavor). It is given out in three categories: The Half-Hour Sitcom, The Hour-Long Drama, and Webisodes. Both spec scripts of existing shows and original pilots are considered. Webisodes must be at least 20 pages in length. Applicants must be current UCSB students.



Best Director Award

is made possible by a donation from the Scott Wells Memorial Foundation. Scott was an alumni who passed away in 2012. This award recognizes student projects created during the academic year.



David F. Siegel Award

is named in memory of one our alumni who lost his battle with Leukemia just a month prior to graduation. As a student David made every effort to put his energy into his classes while he was healthy. His determination in the face of his illness has served as an inspiration for this award and it recognizes graduating seniors in the Film and Media department who have shown “exceptional drive, tenacity, and courage in the face of adversity”.



The Spirit Award

is presented at graduation and is given to a student who embodies the dynamic spirit essential to the collaborative environment of the department.



Outstanding Graduating Seniors

is given to students who have contributed to the life of the department in and out of the classroom through their intellectual generosity, vitality, and enthusiasm.



Department Production Awards

are given each year for work in students’ films in the areas of cinematography, sound, editing, and short produced screenplays.



If you would like to know how to contribute to developing scholarships and award opportunities please contact Kathy Murray.