New York's School of Visual Arts to Present First-Ever Dusty Alumni Awards to Renowned Film Producer Randall Emmett and Animation Director Yvette Kaplan

Two Industry Professionals to Receive Recognition at 25th Anniversary Dusty Film & Animation Festival on May 13, 2014 in NYC

NEW YORK, March 31, 2014 — (PRNewswire) — The School of Visual Arts (SVA), celebrating its 25th Annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival (May 10-13, 2014), will present the inaugural Dusty Alumni Awards to film producer Randall Emmett (Lone Survivor, End of Watch, Two Guns) and animation director Yvette Kaplan (Ice Age, King of the Hill, Beavis and Butthead), announced Reeves Lehmann, chair of the BFA Film and Video and BFA Animation departments at SVA, and Annie Flocco, festival producer, SVA faculty member and independent producer. The awards will be presented at the Annual Dusty Awards Ceremony, Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 6:30pm at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street) in New York City. The four-day festival showcases more than 100 films and animations from thesis students graduating this spring. "Randall and Yvette both personify excellence, and we are very pleased to bestow on them our premiere Dusty Alumni Awards at this year's Dustys ceremony," says Lehmann. "This year's two honorees have also been tremendous supporters of our annual film and animation festival, and they've shown the true meaning and importance of giving back to the industry," says Flocco.

Randall Emmett (1994 BFA Film and Video) is one of the film industry's most prolific film producers, producing over 70 feature films since his start as Mark Wahlberg's assistant in the 1990s. Combining financial acumen with an incisive creative sensibility, Emmett is partner and co-founder alongside George Furla of Emmett/Furla Films, a production company dedicated to the development, financing and production of top tier filmed entertainment for the theatrical marketplace with its own equity fund.              

In the last decade, Emmett's ability to package films with well-known actors and filmmakers resulted in major box office success–netting more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the U.S. box office alone. He forged strong partnerships with major Hollywood studios to finance and distribute commercial films worldwide. Additionally, Emmett has produced smaller, critically acclaimed indie features such as Narc and Wonderland, which played in renowned film festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Venice and Telluride.

Emmett's most recent films include Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg; 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg; Escape Plan, starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger; Broken City, starring Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones; and End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. On the slate for 2014, Emmett will start production of the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film Silence in addition to other high-profile titles including Vice, Tupac, Expiration and Monopoly. 

Yvette Kaplan (1976 BFA Animation) has worked in the animation industry for over 30 years as a director, producer, story consultant, writer, animator and character designer. She has supervised and developed all aspects of pre-and post-production in both 2D animation and CGI. Yvette has guided and inspired teams of writers, artists, actors and musicians to create stories and characters for television and film. She served as head of story on Blue Sky Studios' Ice Age for 20th Century Fox; director on Fox TV's King of the Hill; director on Nickelodeon's Doug; co-director, along with Mike Judge, of MTV/Paramount Pictures' feature Beavis and Butthead Do America; and supervising director of MTV's Beavis and Butthead series. She was a creative consultant on Scholastic Films' The Magic Schoolbus, directed the Emmy-winning pilot for WNET's Cyberchase, served as a timing director on Matt Groening's Futurama series for Comedy Central and was a supervising producer on Cartoon Network's Clarence. Yvette has written numerous series development bibles and story notes on screenplays for clients including Disney DTV, Lionsgate Films and Channel Thirteen.

Yvette's long-time dream to create her own show was recently fulfilled when she partnered with Gili Dolev to co-create Zack and Quack, a unique preschool series airing on Nick Jr. channels worldwide. Yvette directed several episodes and is an executive producer on the series. 

The Annual Dusty Awards also boast an illustrious list of presenters each year including award winners Melissa Leo, Ed Burns, James Gandolfini, Kevin Kline, Karen Allen, Viveca Lindfors, Arthur Penn, Mark Rydell, Patricia Clarkson, Phil Donahue, John Turturro, Doug Liman, Danny Aiello, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Combs, Michael Moore, Lee Grant, Wes Craven, Griffin Dunne, Harvey Keitel, David Koepp, Mira Nair, Bill Plympton and Treat Williams. Media personality Valerie Smaldone will return to emcee the 2014 awards.

The 25th Annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival screenings are scheduled for Saturday, May 10 through Monday, May 12, with a red carpet event on Tuesday, May 13. All festival screenings are free and open to the public and will take place at the state-of-the-art SVA Theatre, located at 333 West 23rd Street. The four-day event showcases more than 100 films and animations from thesis students graduating this spring. This year's Headlining Sponsors include: AbelCine; Act Zero Films; Adorama Rental Company; Animation Magazine; B&H Photo; Bryan Singer; Carlos Saldanha/BottleCap Productions; Channel Frederator Network; Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films; Feature Systems/Kits and Expendables; Foto Care; Gotham Sound & Communications, Inc.; Independent Filmmaker Project; New York Women in Film & Television; Nice Shoes; Rota6; SCS Agency, Inc.; Squarespace; SVA Campus Store; and Technicolor-PostWorks New York. One hundred percent of the sponsors' donations will benefit thesis students in the form of grants and in-kind awards. For more information, visit:

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. Alumni from the BFA Film and Video and BFA Animation departments have received accolades from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Sundance Film Festival; New Directors/New Films; International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France; American Film Institute; New York Women in Film & Television; Venice International Film Festival; and the National Board of Review, among many renowned institutions and organizations. For information about the College's 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit:

Read more news from School of Visual Arts.

For more information on the 25th Annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival or to cover the red carpet event, please contact Patrick Paris at 212-260-7576 or email .

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