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Pajama Gladiator Wins Top Student Oscar

Press Release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Beverly Hills, CA -- Thirteen students from nine colleges and universities were honored tonight (June 13) as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 36th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. For several days, they had participated in a slate of industry-related activities and social events culminating in the awards ceremony, which featured as presenters actor Gary Oldman, director John Landis, animator Andreas Deja and Academy first vice president Robert Rehme at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The 2009 winners are:

Alternative*Gold Medal: "Alice's Attic," Robyn Yannoukos, University of California, Los AngelesSilver Medal: "Matter, in a Quiescent State, Prepares Itself to Be Transformed," Kwibum Chung, School of Visual Arts, New York* Only two medals were awarded in the Alternative category.

AnimationGold Medal: "Pajama Gladiator," Glenn Harmon, Brigham Young UniversitySilver Medal: "Sebastian's Voodoo," Joaquin Baldwin, University of California, Los AngelesBronze Medal: "Kites," Jed Henry, Brigham Young University

DocumentaryGold Medal: "The Last Mermaids," Liz Chae, Columbia UniversitySilver Medal: "The Wait," Cassandra Lizaire and Kelly Asmuth, Columbia UniversityBronze Medal: "A Place to Land," Lauren DeAngelis, American University, Washington, D.C.

NarrativeGold Medal: "Kavi," Gregg Helvey, University of Southern CaliforniaSilver Medal: "The Bronx Balletomane," Jeremy Joffee, The City College of New YorkBronze Medal: "Bohemibot," Brendan Bellomo, New York University

Honorary Foreign Film"Elkland," Per Hanefjord, Dramatiska Institutet, Sweden

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. Gold Medal recipients received cash grants of $5,000, Silver Medal recipients were awarded $3,000 and Bronze Medal recipients were awarded $2,000. The Honorary Foreign Film winner received a $1,000 cash grant.

The U.S. students first competed in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to send as many as three finalist films in each of the four award categories. Academy members then screened the films and voted to select the winners.

"Elkland," the Honorary Foreign Film winner, was selected from a pool of 57 entries, representing foreign colleges and universities in 39 countries.

The Academy established Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Among the many past winners who have gone on to prominent careers in the film and television industries are Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter and Trey Parker. In 2008 two former Student Academy Award winners received Oscar nominations: Pete Docter, who earned a Student Academy Award in 1992, 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)." Over the years, former Student Academy Award winners have garnered a total of 37 Oscar nominations and have won or shared six awards.