The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences 34th Annual Student Academy Awards were recently handed out in Hollywood. Sarah Wickliffe’s Art’s Desire (New York University) and Youngwoong Jang’s Mirage (New York School of Visual Arts) tied for the top honor in the animation category (Animation Gold Medal). The Bronze Medal was handed out to Bevin Carnes’ A Leg Up (Ringling College of Art and Design).
Eleven students from six colleges and universities were honored as winners in the competition. For several days, the honorees participated in a slate of industry-related activities and social events culminating in the awards ceremony, which featured actress Zooey Deschanel, director John Landis, and Academy President Sid Ganis as presenters, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. A student from Germany received this year’s Honorary Foreign Film Award.
While the U.S. winners knew they would each receive an award, the level of that award’Gold, Silver or Bronze’was not revealed until the ceremony. Besides trophies, Gold Medal recipients received $5,000, Silver Medal recipients were awarded $3,000 and Bronze Medal recipients were awarded $2,000. The Honorary Foreign Film winner received $1,000 in addition to the trophy.
The U.S. students first competed in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to send as many as three finalists in each of the four award categories. Academy members then screened the finalists’ films and voted to select the winners.
The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Among past winners who have gone on to prominent careers as filmmakers are Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter and Trey Parker. Over the years, former Student Academy Award winners have garnered a total of 35 Oscar nominations and have won or shared seven awards.
You can watch both Art’s Desire and A Leg Up on AnimagTV.