Student Oscars add foriegn film category

Domestic finalists include Stanford, NYU entries

For the first time the Student Academy Awards has foreign student films competing, with winners from the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Domestic finalists in the 38th annual competition include those from NYU, Stanford and AFI. The documentary, animation and narrative film categories each have nine finalists, while alternative has four. Finalists have already competed on the regional level and now vie for the top prize. Academy members will screen each of the finalists’ films and vote. Winners will receive gold, silver and bronze medal awards and cash grants of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.

The winning student filmmakers will be brought to L.A. to participate in the Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 11 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The event is free and open to the public, though tickets are required. Tix can be requested online at

Finalists in the alternative category are Vlad Korishev from the Art Institute of California in San Francisco for “Bitter”; Damon Mohl, U. of Colorado, Boulder, for “The Dust Machine”; Tal S. Shamir, the New School, New York, for “The Vermeers”; and Bryan Bykowicz from U. of Michigan-Dearborn, for “Unreal City.”

For animation, students Christopher Jarvis from New York U. for “The Birds Upstairs”; Zach Hyer, Pratt Institute in New York for “Correspondence”; Bernardo Warman, Academy of Art U., California, “Dragonboy”; Tyler Kupferer from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia for “The Girl and the Fox”; Erick Oh, UCLA, for “Heart”; Jason Carpenter, California Institute of the Arts, for “The Renter”; Yen-Ting Kuo, School of Visual Arts in New York, “Swing”; from Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis for “Defective Detective”; and Chelsea Bartlett for “Treasure” were chosen.

In the doc category finalists were: Jeremy Cohen, the New School, “After”; Nicholas Corrao and David Hafter, U. of Florida, for “Civil Indigent”; Clare Major, UC Berkeley, “Feast & Sacrifice”; Anthony Weeks with “Imaginary Circumstances” and Theo Rigby for “Sin Pais (Without Country)” both from Stanford U.; Jayan Cherian from City College of New York for “Shape of the Shapeless”; Jeremy Teicher, Dartmouth College, “This is Us: Video Stories From Senegalese Youth”; Mark Kendall, School of Visual Arts in New York, “The Time Machine”; and Wonjung Bae, Columbia College Chicago, “Vera Klement: Blunt Edge.”

Finally, in the narrative category, David Karlak, Savannah College of Art and Design, “The Candidate”; Soham Mehta, U. of Texas at Austin, for “Fatakra”; Saba Riazi, “The Wind Is Blowing on My Street” and Matt Kazman, “Flagpole,” all three from NYU; Shawn Wines, from Columbia U., for “High Maintenance”; Lorne Hiltser, for “Le Jeu des soldats,” Julian Higgins with “Thief” and Lou Howe, “My First Claire,” all from AFI; and Reshad Kulenovic, Boston U., “Snovi”; were chosen.

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