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NYU entrants strike gold at Student Acad Awards

It was a winning evening Sunday for New York University, as filmmakers from that school walked off with three out of four gold medals at the 20th Anniversary Student Academy Awards at the AMPAS’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

With 10 students from five schools receiving medals for nine films, NYU was followed by USC andCalArts, which each had two winning films, and the U. of Colorado at Boulder and Rhode Island School of Design, with one apiece.

Gold medals went to NYU’s Stephanie L. Hill for “Living Forward, Looking Back ,” in the documentary category; NYU’s Ethan Spigland for “The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite,” experimental category; and NYU’s Graham Justice for “A Children’s Story,” dramatic category. Justice also received the DGA’s student film award at Sunday’s ceremony.

In the animation category, the fourth gold medal went to Jamie Maxfield of the Rhode Island School of Design for “Above Average.”

Each gold medal winner receives a $ 2,000 cash grant, a trophy designed by Oscar winner Saul Bass and inclusion of their entry in a compilation film that will tour colleges, museums, art centers and other non-profit institutions.

Silver medal winners, who received cash grants of $ 1,500, were USC’s Elaine Holliman, documentary, “Chicks in White Satin”; USC’s Martin Curland, “Silent Rain,” dramatic; CalArts’ Lisa Mann, “Seven Lucky Charms,” experimental; and the U. of Colorado’s Chris Graves and Trey Parker for “American History,” animation.

The Bronze medal went to CalArts’ Drew King for “The Wind,” in the animation category. He will receive a $ 1,000 cash grant. The Honorary Foreign Film Award was awarded to Javier Bourges of the Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica in Mexico City for “The Last New Year.” Bourges was selected from a field of 20 films from 15 countries.

On hand at the event, which drew a capacity crowd of 1,100, were Academy president Robert Rehme, award executive committee chair June Foray and presenters John Landis, Steve Guttenberg and Karl Malden. Also in attendance were the competition’s seven regional coordinators.

The nine winning films were selected from a field of 326 entries and were judged first in seven regional competitions. Regional winners were subsequently screened over three nights and one day in L.A. for members of the Academy, which selected the nine winners.

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