Academy Reveals 2017 Student Academy Award Winners

The results are in. 17 film students have been picked as the winners of the 44th Student Academy Awards competition, out of 1,587 entries from 267 domestic and 89 international colleges and universities. In a press release, the Academy proclaimed the newest filmmakers to join the ranks of past Student Academy Award winners, many of whom went on to make their names in the film industry. Past winners include Patricia Cardoso (“Real Women Have Curves”), Pete Docter (“Inside Out”), Cary Fukunaga (“Jane Eyre”), John Lasseter (“Toy Story” series), Spike Lee (“Inside Man”), Trey Parker (“South Park”) and Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future” series). Here are the winners, listed alphabetically by their film titles:

Alternative (Domestic Film Schools)

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

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)
“Cradle,” Devon Manney, University of Southern California
“E-delivery,” Young Gul Cho, School of Visual Arts
“In a Heartbeat,” Beth David and Esteban Bravo, Ringling College of Art and Design

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)
“Hale,” Brad Bailey, University of California, Berkeley
“On Pointe,” Priscilla Thompson and Joy Jihyun Jeong, Columbia University
“One Way Home,” Qingzi Fan, New York University

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)
“Mammoth,” Ariel Heller, University of Southern California
“My Newphew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr., New York University
“Who’s Who in Mycology,” Marie Dvorakova, New York University

Narrative (International Film Schools) 
“Facing Mecca,” Jan-Eric Mack, Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland)
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Hamburg Media School (Germany)
“When Grey is a Colour,” Marit Weerheijm, Netherlands Film Academy (Netherlands)

Animation (International Film Schools)
“Life Smartphone,” Chenglin Xie, China Central Academy of Fine Arts (China)

Documentary (International Film Schools)
“Galamsey,” Johannes Preuss, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

First-time honors go to the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, located in Beijing.

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 in an effort to showcase the work of burgeoning filmmakers, encouraging their early works and giving them a leg up into the film industry. All of the winning films are now eligible to compete at the 2017 Oscars in the Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories; documentary winners will be eligible to compete in the 2018 Oscars for the Documentary Short Subject category. Past winners of the Student Academy Awards have gone on to snag 57 Oscar nominations, winning or sharing eleven Oscars.

This year the competition was even expanded to highlight young filmmakers, with two new options for students of international film schools to submit their work. CILECT-member schools can submit one student film per international school category, with international students also allowed to enter films that qualify through film festivals approved by the Student Academy Awards Committee.

The 44th Student Academy Awards ceremony is on Oct. 13 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Admission is free, but tickets are required for entry. Tickets are available from now, and will be available at the door. Watch the official Student Academy Awards announcement clip below.

Happy to see the Academy supporting young filmmakers? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Selina Mixner

Selina is a queer, half-Filipina fangirl who loves TV, film and corgis a little too much. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Literature and Psychology from UC Santa Cruz. Her rules for writing are simple: is it tattoo-worthy? If not, try again.

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