Academy Reveals 2021 Student Academy Award Winners

Academy Reveals 2021 Student Academy Award Winners. Photo: The Academy
Academy Reveals 2021 Student Academy Award Winners. Photo: The Academy

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted 17 students as winners of the 48th Student Academy Awards competition. The Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards in the seven award categories are presented by Oscar-winning filmmaker and 1992 Student Academy Award winner Pete Docter, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, and filmmakers Marielle Heller and Nanfu Wang in a virtual program highlighting the winners and their films on Thursday, October 21.  

This year, the Student Academy Awards competition received a total of 1,404 submissions from 210 domestic and 126 international colleges and universities. The 2021 winners join the ranks of such past Student Academy Award winners as Patricia Cardoso, Cary Fukunaga, Spike Lee, Patricia Riggen and Robert Zemeckis. Hosted by Amandla Stenberg, the 2021 ceremony is now available to view here.

The 2021 Student Academy Award medalists are: 

Alternative/Experimental (Domestic and International Film Schools)

Gold: “Frozen Out,” Hao Zhou, University of Iowa

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “Unforgotten,” Sujin Kim, California Institute of the Arts

Silver: “Barking Orders,” Alexander Tullo, Ringling College of Art & Design

Bronze: “Slumber with Snakes,” Teagan Barrone, Cleveland Institute of Art

Animation (International Film Schools)

Gold: “Les Chaussures de Louis,” Théo Jamin, Kayu Leung and Marion Philippe, MoPA (France)

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “When They’re Gone,” Kristen Hwang, University of California, Berkeley

Silver: “Eagles Rest in Liangshan,” Bohao Liu, New York University

Bronze: “Not Just a Name,” De’Onna Young-Stephens, University of Southern California

Documentary (International Film Schools)

Gold: “Why Didn’t You Stay for Me?,” Milou Gevers, Nederlandse Filmacademie (The Netherlands)

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “When the Sun Sets,” Phumi Morare, Chapman University

Silver: “Close Ties to Home Country,” Akanksha Cruczynski, Columbia College Chicago

Bronze: “No Law, No Heaven,” Kristi Hoi, University of California, Los Angeles

Narrative (International Film Schools)

Gold: “Tala’vision,” Murad Abu Eisheh, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Silver: “Adisa,” Simon Denda, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (Germany)

Bronze: “Bad Omen,” Salar Pashtoonyar, York University (Canada)

First-time honors go to the University of Iowa and Cleveland Institute of Art.

All Student Academy Award-winning films are eligible to compete for 2021 Oscars in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film or Documentary Short Subject category. Past winners have gone on to receive 65 Oscar nominations and have won or shared 14 awards.  

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to provide a platform for emerging global talent by creating opportunities within the industry to showcase their work. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

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