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2021 Student Academy Award Winners Announced

Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards were presented by Oscar-winning filmmaker and 1992 Student Academy Award winner Pete Docter at a virtual ceremony now available to view.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just announced 17 winners of its 48th Student Academy Awards competition.  Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards in seven award categories will be 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 winners and their films.

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.

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.

Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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