Raso's 'Under' tops narrative film race

Two AFI students were among the 13 collegians honored by the film academy Saturday for their projects at the 39th annual Student Academy Awards.

Laura Dern, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Greg Kinnear, Mena Suvari and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences prexy Tom Sherak made the presentations.

Mark Raso of Columbia U. won the gold medal in narrative film for “Under.” AFI students Ryan Prows (“Narcocorrido”) and Justin Tipping (“Nani”) won the silver and bronze. In alternative, USC’s Amanda Tasse was the sole honoree for “The Reality Clock.”

The documentary gold medalist was NYU’s Keiko Wright for “Hiro: A Story of Japanese Internment.” American U.’s Ellen Tripler won the silver medal in the category for “Dying Green,” while the bronze went to Heather Burky of the Art Institute of Jacksonville for “Lost Country.”

For animation, CalArts student David Wolter won the gold medal for “Eyrie,” while UCLA’s Mark Nelson (“The Jockstrap Raiders”) earned the silver and Eric Prah of Ringling College of Art and Design took the bronze for “My Little Friend.”

Honors for foreign film were topped by David Winstone (“For Elsie”) of the University of Westminster. The silver medal went to Thomas Stuber (“Of Dogs and Horses”) of Germany’s Film Academy Baden-W├╝rttemberg, and the bronze to countrymate Elmar Imanov (“The Swing of the Coffin Maker”) of the International Film School Cologne.

Gold-medal films will be screened June 24 at the Palm Springs International ShortFest and June 27 at the National Archives Building in Washington D.C.

Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards. At this year’s Oscars, 2011 Student Academy Award honorees Hallvar Witzo and Max Zahle were nominated in live-action short film for “Tuba Atlantic” and “Raju.”

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