Radio-TV-Film MFA Student Wins International Documentary Association David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award

AUSTIN, Texas – Dec. 13, 2013 – Radio-TV-Film alumna Elizabeth Chatelain, who graduated earlier this year with a Master of Fine Arts degree in radio-television-film from The University of Texas at Austin, has won an International Documentary Association Award, considered among the most prestigious awards for documentary films.

Her thesis film, “My Sister Sarah,” was announced as the winner of the David L. Wolper Student Documentary category on Dec. 6 in Los Angeles during the International Documentary Awards at a Directors Guild of America event. Chatelain’s award is in recognition of exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level.   

The film follows Sarah’s journey as a recovering methamphetamines addict living in North Dakota. Sarah is also the filmmaker’s sister, providing an intimate look at Sarah’s 15-year struggle with drug abuse and her inspiring ability to survive addiction. Shot in high-definition and in 8mm, Chatelain also used VHS family videos to illustrate the relationships and dynamics of the family throughout Sarah’s childhood.

The film was directed and produced by Chatelain with cinematography by E.J. Enriquez, another former Radio-TV-Film student.

The RTF department held the honor of having two recent alumni thesis films nominated for IDA awards this year: Russell O. Bush’s (MFA ’12) Regional Academy Award-winning “Vultures of Tibet” was also nominated in the “Best Short” category.

About The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication
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