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Films from students of Ringling College of Art and Design, University of the West of England and New York University won at this year’s British Academy of Film and Television Student Film Awards competition, a key component of the organization’s mission to foster new talent.

At a ceremony Friday in L.A.’s Theatre at Ace Hotel, a special jury prize was also given to National Film and Television School student Lucia Bulgheroni for her film “Inanimate.” The Laika award for animated film went to Ringling’s Beth David and Esteban Bravo for “In a Heartbeat,” while Lindsey Parietti of the University of the West of England took the documentary trophy and NYU’s Kevin Wilson Jr. won the prize for “My Nephew Emmett.”

With the international expansion of the competition, 469 entries were accepted from 35 countries from Argentina to China and Switzerland to Kenya. Global Student Accommodation Group sponsored the Student Film Awards for the first time this year.

The jury panel included filmmakers Amy Adrion, Jen McGowan, Justin Simien and Jon Turteltaub, programming director for the Sundance Film Festival Kim Yutani plus writing duo Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais.

“I was really blown away. It was quite exciting to hear and see all of these stories that you traditionally don’t get to see all at once,” said special jury member Simien. “I think that these programs really speak to a marvelous future in filmmaking. If I get to look forward to these people being the ones who are bringing the new stories, it’s an exciting future. We are hearing women’s voices, voices from people of color and voices from different kinds of sexuality. If we can have that sort of breadth of filmmaking in stories every year at the box office, that would be a dream come true.”

“The program was filled with surprises and I liked the combination of animation, live action and documentary. I felt like it took the viewer on a real ride,” said fellow special jury member Yutani.

“Making a film is an amazing journey. What I learned most is that you have to trust yourself, because when you do that, it is actually when you start to be satisfied by yourself and make great things,” said Bulgheroni, who took the special jury prize.

(Pictured student winners Esteban Bravo, left, Beth David, Lucia Bulgheroni, Lindsey Parietti and Kevin Wilson)