Documentary short “4.1 Miles” by Daphne Matziaraki from UC Berkeley won the special jury prize Thursday from British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles Student Film Awards in a gala ceremony at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. The docu short was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year.
BAFTA Los Angeles’ first-ever student film award for animation presented by Laika generated a tie between Alicja Jasina of USC for “Once Upon a Line” and Kal Athannassov, John McDonald, and Echo Wu from Ringling College of Art & Design for “The Wishgranter.” The prize for live action was awarded to Jimmy Keyrouz from Columbia for “Nocturne in Black.” Matziaraki was also presented with the doc student film award for “4.1 Miles.”
The panel of judges included directors Ron Clements and John Musker (“Moana”); actors Shohreh Aghdashloo and Ioan Gruffudd; producer David Gelb; and editor Joan Sobel.
For the first time, BAFTA L.A.’s Student Film Awards extended the net internationally. More than 400 submissions came from countries including Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, India, Israel, Lebanon, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
“The films were incredibly moving and shocking, and the stories were brilliantly told,” Aghdashloo said. “I found myself forgetting that I was watching the work of students, and not professional filmmakers.”
“This was a very exciting experience for me. The films were so moving and I was glad to have seen them all,” Clements added. “I was not sure what to expect, but was incredibly impressed with the quality of the students’ work.”
“We are delighted that our first international BAFTA Student Film Awards has exceeded our expectations, bringing together a multi-cultural group of filmmakers who have produced a range of films with depth, humor, and pathos,” said Peter Morris, chair of the BAFTA Los Angeles new talent committee. “The future of our industry is in great hands!”
(Pictured: BAFTA Los Angeles’ Chantal Rickards, left, and Peter Morris flank winners of the Student Film Awards.)