Screenwriting Professor Marilyn Beker was honored at a star-studded ceremony with the first Visionary Leader in Education Award at the 4th annual Shorts Awards, held during Oscars week at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in short films from around the world and was organized by The Short Movie Channel (ShortsHD).
“It is an enormous honor to recognize these filmmakers who are succeeding in some of the most difficult storytelling in Hollywood,” said ShortsHD CEO Carter Pilcher. “We are pleased to be able to recognize amazing Visionaries who go the extra mile to support and expand short filmmaking.”
Beker, an award-winning filmmaker and author, is a champion of the short film format and works with emerging filmmakers, helping them master the medium while encouraging them to write ethically about social issues. A member of the Writers’ Guild of America (West), she has written numerous comedy feature-length screenplays, a mini-series about world hunger and dramatic short films championing diversity and multiculturalism. She received a highly competitive grant from The American Association of University Women Educational Foundation to produce, direct and write Home Girls, an independent short documentary about inner-city Latinas who reject gang life.
“This award is so special because those of us who work with emerging filmmakers often do so in obscurity. Because of that, it’s great to be recognized especially by such a wonderful international organization that does so much to promote short films,” said Beker. “The short film, like the poem or the short story, is a particular and splendid art form. It’s one of the most efficient forms of story telling through image and it’s also a concise window into a filmmaker’s talent and sensibility. It’s been my passion to help student artists believe in themselves, embrace the short film format and through it to find their voice. This award is an exquisite validation of that work and that passion.”
Beker is currently at work on Comeback, a short ecological documentary about creating a wetland to preserve endangered wildlife.