Masahiro Sugano’s “Competitive Filmmaking” Class Wins Top Prize in International Film Competition


The short film “Delirium” created by IAS faculty member Masahiro Sugano’s “Competitive Filmmaking” Class won at the 2020 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival held in Berlin, Germany. In Spring 2020 when Washington State went into COVID-19 lockdown, IAS faculty Masahiro Sugano had the unique challenge of teaching a new advanced level media production course, MCS 472 Competitive Filmmaking, remotely with “the sole purpose of entering film competitions and other professionally juried screening opportunities.” The resulting final project, a 7-minute assemblage short film titled “Delirium” created by eight University of Washington Bothell students has won ZEBRA’s top prize in the “Festival Poem Film Adaptation” category. The student film is an adaptation of the festival’s selected poem “Lethe” by the Botswana poet TJ Dema. 

""Isolation was incorporated into the production, which reflects Sugano’s philosophy of filmmaking: When you encounter adversity, make it the center of your art. If you only have two colors on your palette, make a two-color painting. If you don’t have the lead actor, build a story that’s missing the main character, said Sugano, who has been at UW Bothell since 2017.

""“Very often we have attachments to a notion and complain about what we don’t have — what we think we should have. Instead, if you don’t have it, show it. Make that the center of the story,” Sugano said. “We turned our challenge into the core of our aesthetic.” 

The festival takes place online between November 19-22 due to the new lockdown policy the German government put in effect. 

Festival content is distributed via VOD platform.

Read more about the film and the class’ journey in making the film.

Watch “Delirium”

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