×

Student Academy Awards Honors Winners From New York to China

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the recipients of its 44th Student Academy Awards in a ceremony at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills Thursday night.

Actress and director Amber Tamblyn, actor and director Andy Serkis, animator and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, and producer DeVon Franklin presented gold, silver, and bronze medals to winners from schools around the world. “I’m excited to celebrate the great young talent that’s burgeoning onto our screens,” said Serkis. Nelson echoed that sentiment: “It’s inspiring to see students who are so talented and to recognize them for their abilities now.”

“I love to see… when they play the clips and everyone leans forward to see what [the students have] worked on. That energy is euphoric,” Nelson added. Regarding the tense climate in Hollywood right now, she said, “Something has always been happening, but the thing that’s wonderful about what we do is we can focus on the craft and make something that will bring people together in beauty and story and character. It’s a huge bonding experience. In times like these, we need that more.”

Serkis offered a bit of wisdom to aspiring filmmakers. “It’s important to have stamina,” he said. “It takes such passion in the subject matter, when you have that first dream of making something, to be able to hold onto that and nurture it… That initial spark of an idea is the most delicious time because you’re so fired up by it. But it’s about the long haul.” He went on to emphasize the necessity of honorable intentions. “You can become corrupted by money and fame, but most people who really are artists are able to hold onto the desire to do what they want to do because they want to change society. I’ve always been certain about what I want to do… and that’s to have some impact, to educate and influence people’s points of view. First and foremost, get them to emotionally engage.”

There was no shortage of emotional engagement during the awards ceremony. Between speeches by winners from Chenglin Xie (Gold medal: International Animation, “Life Smartphone”) to Kevin Wilson, Jr. (Gold medal: Narrative, “My Nephew Emmett”), the students’ work left the audience feeling love, heartbreak, suffering, celebration, and all.

“I want to continue with animation, but I’m not limiting myself to that,” Xie said. “I want to use film as a language to express myself.”

44TH STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS MEDALISTS

ALTERNATIVE
Gold: “Opera of Cruelty,” Max R. A. Fedore, New York University

ANIMATION

Gold: “In a Heartbeat,” Beth David and Esteban Bravo, Ringling College of Art and Design
Silver: “Cradle,” Devon Manney, University of Southern California
Bronze: “E-delivery,” Young Gul Cho, School of Visual Arts

INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION

Gold: “Life Smartphone,” Chenglin Xie, China Central Academy of Fine Arts (China)

DOCUMENTARY

Gold: “Hale,” Brad Bailey, University of California, Berkeley
Silver: “On Pointe,” Priscilla Thompson and Joy Jihyun Jeong, Columbia University
Bronze: “One Way Home,” Qingzi Fan, New York University

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY

Gold: “Galamsey,” Johannes Preuss, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

NARRATIVE

Gold: “My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr., New York University
Silver: “Mammoth,” Ariel Heller, University of Southern California
Bronze: “Who’s Who in Mycology,” Marie Dvorakova, New York University

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE

Gold: “Watu Wote,” Katja Benrath, Hamburg Media School (Germany)
Silver: “Facing Mecca,” Jan-Eric Mack, Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland)
Bronze: “When Grey is a Colour,” Marit Weerheijm, Netherlands Film Academy (Netherlands)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Noele trailer Anna Kendrick

    Disney Unveils 'Noelle' Trailer Starring Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader

    Among the many announcements at the D23 Expo, Disney debuted the first look at holiday feature “Noelle,” which is set to premiere exclusively on Disney Plus this fall. “It isn’t Christmas without Santa’s Sister,” Walt Disney Studios said of the film on Twitter. Starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader, the Christmas flick tells the story [...]

  • A Hidden Life Movie Austria

    Film News Roundup: Austin Festival Selects Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    In today’s film news roundup, the Austin Film Festival selects a Terrence Malick title, “A Day Without a Mexican” gets a sequel and DCR Finance signs a first-look deal. FESTIVAL SCREENING The Austin Film Festival will screen Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” which won the Francois Chalais and Ecumenical Jury awards at the Cannes Film [...]

  • Blake Lively

    Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Moved Back to 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved the release date of Blake Lively’s “The Rhythm Section” back two months from Nov. 22 to Jan. 31, 2020, the weekend of Super Bowl LIV. The spy tale, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novels surrounding character Stephanie Patrick, is produced by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson through their [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    'The Mandalorian': Watch the First Trailer for 'Star Wars' Series

    The gunslinging lone warrior — the Mandalorian, as they call him — calls the far reaches of the “Star Wars” galaxy home. Disney dropped the first trailer for the spinoff series during its biennial D23 convention on Friday, finally giving fans a closer look at the franchise’s newest character. “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau, who [...]

  • Lady and the Tramp trailer

    'Lady and the Tramp': Disney's Live-Action Remake Gets First Trailer (Watch)

    Ready your dog-friendly bowl of spaghetti, Disney has debuted the first trailer for its live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux. The teaser was released during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim at the Disney + presentation. In addition to Thompson and Theroux, who play the Lady and Tramp, respectively, [...]

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    'Angel Has Fallen' to Dominate Modest Box Office With $20 Million Weekend

    Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman are leading the way at the North American box office with “Angel Has Fallen” on its way to about $20 million, early estimates showed Friday. Should forecasts hold, “Angel Has Fallen” will take in about double the next title, Universal’s second weekend of raunchy comedy “Good Boys” with about $10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content