Twelve film students from the U.S. and one from Germany have been selected as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 25th annual Student Academy Awards competition.
All will be honored with a week of industry-related activities and social events, culminating with the awards presentation ceremony on June 14.
The winning filmmakers are:
In the alternative category, Robin Larsen, from UCLA, for “Sombra.”
In animation, Peter Choe and Neal Nellans, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Fla., for “Jataka”; Suzanne Lee Twining, U. of the Arts, Philadelphia, for “Put On a Happy Face”; and Kyle Clark, USC, for “Switchback.”
In documentaries, Greg Pak, New York U., for “Fighting Grandpa”; Yuriko Gamo Romer, Stanford, for “Occidental Encounters”; Aaron Lubarsky, Stanford, for “Wayne Freedman’s Notebook.”
In the dramatic category, Bill Platt, NYU, for “Bleach”; Dana H. Glazer, NYU, for “Intermezzo”; Joel Moffett and Matthias Visser, American Film Institute, Los Angeles, for “My Body.”
The Honorary Foreign Film Student Award will go to Thorsten Schmidt, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, for “Rochade.” Schmidt was selected from a field of 34 entries from 23 foreign countries; those films do not compete against the U.S. productions. It is the 18th time the Academy has presented an award to a foreign film student. Two previous winners, Jan Sverak, who was a student in the former Czechoslovakia, and Mike Van Diem, of the Netherlands, have gone on to win Oscars in the foreign-language film category.
While the students know they will each receive an award, the level of the award — gold, silver or bronze — will not be revealed until the June 14 ceremony. Only Larsen and Schmidt, sole recipients in their categories, will attend the ceremony knowing what they have won. Besides trophies, gold medalists receive $2,000, silver medalists $1,500 and bronze medalists $1,000.
One of the dramatic category winners will also be named recipient of the Directors Guild of America Student Award.
The Student Academy Awards program began in 1973. Among the recipients who have gone on to achieve prominence as professional filmmakers are Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis and John Lasseter, who is the only person to win gold medals in the contest two years in a row — 1979 and 1980. Lasseter went on to win an Oscar for his animated short film “Tin Toy” (1988) and received Academy Award nominations for “Luxo Jr.” (1986) and for his screenplay for “Toy Story” (1995).
The Student Academy Awards ceremony is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Call (310) 247-3000, ext. 129.