Possum Golden at Student Academy Awards

Filmmaker Chris Choy from California Institute of the Arts took gold at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 33rd annual Student Academy Awards competition on Saturday at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Choy’s Possum was deemed the top animated film, making him $5,000 richer and guaranteeing him a spot in the animated short competition at next year’s Oscars.

The silver award in the animation category went to The Dancing Thief by Meng Vue from Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Fla. Vue receives $3,000, while the $2,000 bronze award goes to Thomas Leavitt from Brigham Young University, who placed third with his film, Turtles.

Before having their films screened and voted on by Academy members, the wining students first had to compete in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to submit to the Academy up to three finalist films in each of the four categories.

The Student Academy Awards were presented by actress/writer Nia Vardalos (My Big, Fat Greek Wedding), filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Academy President Sid Ganis. A complete list of this year’s winners can be found at www.oscars.org.