Academy Announces 2011 Student Academy Award Winners
May 26, 2011

Academy Announces 2011 Student Academy Award Winners

Beverly Hills, Calif. - Twelve students from nine U.S. colleges and universities and three students from outside the U.S. have been selected as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 38th Annual Student Academy Awards competition.

The student filmmakers will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry-related activities and social events that will culminate in the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 11, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The winners are (listed alphabetically by film title):

Alternative category
 "The Vermeers," Tal S. Shamir, The New School, New York 

Animation category
 "Correspondence," Zach Hyer, Pratt Institute, New York
 "Defective Detective," Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis, Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida
 "Dragonboy," Bernardo Warman and Shaofu Zhang, Academy of Art University, California 

Documentary category
 "Imaginary Circumstances," Anthony Weeks, Stanford University 
 "Sin Pais (Without Country)," Theo Rigby, Stanford University
 "Vera Klement: Blunt Edge," Wonjung Bae, Columbia College Chicago 

Narrative category
 "Fatakra," Soham Mehta, University of Texas at Austin
 "High Maintenance," Shawn Wines, Columbia University
 "Thief," Julian Higgins, American Film Institute, California 

Foreign Student Film category
 "Bekas," Karzan Kader, Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, Sweden
 "Raju," Max Zaehle, Hamburg Media School, Germany
 "Tuba Atlantic," Hallvar Witzo,

Norwegian Film School, Norway Academy members have viewed these films at special screenings to determine the winners' placements--Gold, Silver, or Bronze--which will not be revealed until the June 11 ceremony. Gold Medal award winners receive cash grants of $5,000, Silver Medal award winners receive $3,000, and Bronze Medal award winners receive $2,000. 

The U.S. students first competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region is permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalists in each of the four categories. Academy members then screened the finalists' films and voted to select the winners. The foreign students were selected from a pool of 52 entries from 32 countries. 

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 43 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards.

At the 83rd Academy Awards earlier this year, 2010 Student Academy Award winner Luke Matheny took home the Oscar for Live Action Short Film for "God of Love." Tanel Toom, another 2010 Student Academy Award winner, also was nominated in the Live Action Short Film category for "The Confession," and John Lasseter, a 1979 and 1980 Student Academy Award winner, was a nominee in the Adapted Screenplay category for "Toy Story 3." 

The 38th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 11 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required. Tickets will be available on May 2. Tickets may be obtained online at, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.