Search form

Academy Announces Finalists for 2009 Student Academy Awards

Press Release from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Beverly Hills, CA -- Thirty-six students from 20 colleges and universities have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 36th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. Academy members will view these films at special screenings and vote to select the winners. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards, along with accompanying cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, may be presented in each of four categories. Winning filmmakers will participate in a week of industry-related and social activities, culminating in the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 13.

The finalists are (listed alphabetically by film title):


ALICE'S ATTIC, Robyn Yanoukos, University of California, Los AngelesBREATHE, Sean Conaty and John Thompson, University of Southern CaliforniaMATTER, IN QUIESCENT STATE PREPARES ITSELF TO BE TRANSFORMED, Kwibum Chung, School of Visual Arts, New YorkSUBCONSCIOUS, Jason Chen, University of the Arts, PennsylvaniaTHIRTY-ONE THOUSAND FEET ABOVE, Imran Shafi, University of Southern California


CADILLAC '59, Hamilton Lewis, Ringling College of Art and Design, FloridaDIVERS, Paris Mavroidis, Pratt Institute, New YorkENTERING THE MIND THROUGH THE MOUTH, Jin Sung Choi, Academy of Art University, CaliforniaI LIVE IN THE WOODS, Max Winston, California Institute of the ArtsKITES, Jed Henry, Brigham Young UniversityLILIUM URBANUS, Joji Tsuruga and Anca Risca, School of Visual ArtsPAJAMA GLADIATOR, Glenn Harmon, Brigham Young UniversitySCRIMSHANDER, George Smaragdis, Pratt InstituteSEBASTIAN'S VOODOO, Joaquin Baldwin, University of California, Los Angeles


CLOSE TO HOME, Theo Rigby, Stanford UniversityIN CIRCLES, Emile Bokaer and Alaa Eldin El Dajani, Stanford UniversityTHE LAST MERMAIDS, Liz Chae, Columbia UniversityNUTKIN'S LAST STAND, Nicholas Berger, Stanford UniversityA PLACE TO LAND, Lauren DeAngelis, American University, Washington, D.C.SUSTAINING LIFE, Robert Hess, Savannah College of Art and DesignTHREE PILOTS, Philip Leaman, University of MichiganTHE WAIT, Cassandra Lizaire and Kelly Asmuth, Columbia UniversityWIN OR LOSE: A SUMMER CAMP STORY, Louis Lapat, Columbia University


AFTER THE STORM, Michael Green, Florida State UniversityBOHEMIBOT, Brendan Bellomo, New York UniversityTHE BRONX BALLETOMANE, Jeremy Joffee, City College of New YorkIDA Y VUELTA (ROUND TRIP), David Martin-Porras, University of California, Los AngelesKAVI, Gregg Helvey, University of Southern California1915, Marco Garcia, University of North CarolinaSHORT TERM 12, Destin Cretton, San Diego State UniversityTRANSPOSITION, Joshua Overbay, Regent University, VirginiaUNA Y OTRA VEZ, Antonio Mendez, Columbia University

To reach this stage, students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region is permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalist films in each of the four categories. A film by a student attending a foreign university or school also will be honored as the year's Honorary Foreign Film. Academy members have selected students from Israel, Germany, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom as finalists.

The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 37 Oscar nominations and have won or shared six awards. Two former Student Academy Award winners were nominees at the 81st Academy Awards held earlier this year -- Pete Docter received his fourth nomination for the Original Screenplay for "WALL-E, and Reto Caffi, last year's Honorary Foreign Film award winner, received his first nomination for the live action short film AUF DER STRECKE (ON THE LINE).

Tickets for the 36th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony, at which the Gold Medal-winning films and the Honorary Foreign Film will be screened in their entirety, are free and available now. A maximum of four tickets may be requested online at, in person at the Academy box office, by mail, or by calling the Student Academy Awards department at (310) 247-3000, ext. 130. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 13, at 6 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater, located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 5 p.m. All seating is unreserved.