"God of Love," which was Matheny's senior thesis at NYU's graduate film program, won for Best Live Action Short Film.
"I should've gotten a haircut," the shaggy-haired Matheny said in one of the night's more memorable acceptance speeches.
Matheny, who wrote, directed and starred in the film, also thanked his mother and many more who helped with the project.
Franco, a fellow NYU alum, then took the stage and, before introducing the next category, offered props to Matheny and their shared grad school.
"NYU, what's up!" Franco said, gesturing to Matheny.
The black and white film is a comedy about a lounge-singing darts champion, played by Matheny, who woos a woman with love-inducing darts.
"God of Love" was nominated for the Oscars after it won last year's Student Academy Awards and first prize at the NYU First Run Film Festival.
Matheny grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and worked first as a journalist and a story editor on the MTV series MADE before film school. He is now a writing teacher at the School of Cinema and Performing Arts in Brooklyn and writing a feature comedy script.