Annie Silverstein was a double winner at the 11th annual BAFTA/LA Student Film Awards, taking home both the audience award and the jury prize Thursday night. Silverstein, from the University of Texas at Austin, won with the narrative “Skunk,” a subtle tale of teenage romance, betrayal and revenge.
Other finalists included four narrative films, “The Boy Scout” Patrick Brooks, UCLA; “A Different Tree” Stephen Caple Jr., USC; “Interstate” Camille Stochitch, AFI; “Random Stop” Benjamin Arfmann, UCLA; docus “Learning to Float” Brendan Calder, LMU, and “One Inch From Flying” Will Suto, San Diego State University; and two animated shorts, “Omelette” Madeleine Sharafrian, CalArts; and “Yamashita” Hayley Foster, LMU.
The finalists were chosen by a panel that viewed 60 entries. This was the first year that BAFTA/LA opened it up to film schools outside Southern California. The org’s chairman Nigel Daly (who this week was given an OBE) welcomed guests to the event at the Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood, with screening of the nine shorts bookended by a welcoming reception and a closing fete that included presentation of the awards.
This was the second year for the jury, which comprises actor James Frain, Variety awards editor Tim Gray, production designer Alex McDowell and cinematographer Ousama Rawi.
“Our warm congratulations to Annie on a very well deserved double win and to the faculty at Moody College in Austin for producing such an excellent film program,” Daly said in a statement. “We say it every year at our Student Film Awards and it remains true – the standard of films being produced by film students the world over is truly astounding and seems to get better each year.”
Silverstein (pictured fifth from left, next to Daly and surrounded by other finalists) said, “Thank you BAFTA Los Angeles for this wonderful event and supporting emerging filmmakers. We’re grateful to be welcomed into such a warm and generous community here in L.A. I couldn’t have made this film without producer Monique Walton, the entire ‘Skunk’ crew, our courageous and talented young leads Jenivieve Nugent and Kiowa Tucker, and my teachers and classmates at the University of Texas-Austin.”