Robert Zemeckis has one. Spike Lee as well. “Monsters, Inc.” writer/director Pete Docter has one, but his boss, John Lassiter, has two. What is it? It’s a Student Academy Award.
Twenty-eight students from 17 colleges and universities around the country have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 30th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. Their films will be voted upon by Academy members and those students ultimately selected as winners will be flown to Los Angeles to participate in a week of industry-related activities and social events that will culminate June 8 with the awards presentation ceremony at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The finalists for Region 1 and 2 are:
Subject One: Erik Norsgaard and Carlos Hartado, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
The Projects Lumiere: Waleed Moursi, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
A Work in Progress: Wes Ball, Florida State University, Tallahassee
Bert: Moonsung Lee, Academy of Art College, San Francisco
The Box Man Nirvan Mullick, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
The Catch: Jeff Tucker, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
The Erlking Ben Zelkowicz, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
All That I Perceive: Lindsay Ann Daniels, California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco
4 Days: Richard Hauck, Arizona International College, Tucson
Foxhole: Franko Galoso, Florida State University, Tallahassee
Indiana Aria Elizabeth Pollock, University of California, Berkeley
Left Behind: Christof Putzel, Connecticut College, New London
Those Who Trespass: Renee Fischer, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
Bracia (Brothers): Steven Edell, American University, Washington D.C.
Fine: Michael Downing and Philip Svoboda, American Film Institute, Los Angeles
The Brother We Keep Keith Ransfer, Columbia College, Chicago
The Mexican Dream Gustavo Hernandez, American Film Institute, Los Angeles
Two-Bit: Craig Miller, Florida State University, Tallahassee
The Region 3 (New York) finalists previously announced are:
Like Twenty Impossibles: Anne-Marie Jacir, Columbia University, New York
You’re Going to Die: Dennis Palazzolo, Cooper Union, New York City Animation Category
Intelligent Life: Jeff Spoonhower, Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.), Rochester, New York
Perpetual Motion: Kimberly Miner, Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.), Rochester, New York
Ms. Alabama Nursing Home: Anne Paas, New York University
Jesus Henry Christ: Dennis Lee, Columbia University, New York
La Milpa: Patricia Riggen, Columbia University, New York
Mr. Smith Goes to Pittsburgh: Peter Rubi, New York University
To reach this stage, students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to send the Academy up to three finalist films in each of the four categories. Academy members may now choose to present awards to as many as three films in each of the categories. Along with their trophies, Gold Medal winners in each of the four categories receive $5,000; Silver Medal winners take home $3,000 and Bronze Medal recipients are awarded $2,000. An Honorary Foreign Film Award, which includes a $1,000 cash grant, also will be presented. Finalists for that award this year are individual students from the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom.
The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.