Ben Wu

Stanford U. - Class of ’06

Won repeat Academy recognition for his student-made documentaries.

Last year, Wu joined an elite group of repeat Student Academy Award winners when his docu “Cross Your Eyes Keep Them Wide” earned a gold medal from AMPAS.

The honor came two years after the org bestowed silver honors on “Unhitched,” a film he co-directed with Erin Hudson when both were graduate documentary students at Stanford U. — a program responsible for generating eight such trophies in the past decade alone.

The 31-year-old San Francisco native credits his mixed ethnicity (he’s half-white, half-Chinese) for some of his success: “Being a part of two different worlds growing up created a natural curiosity.”

But Wu says he found his personal voice at Stanford, mostly through exhaustive study of other docs. He finds Werner Herzog especially inspiring and plans to remain focused on fringe subjects like the art program for the developmentally disabled that begat “Cross Your Eyes.”

“I really like finding these stories that exist in our communities right under our noses,” he says.