European film schools take top honours at the Student Oscars
by Laurence Boyce
- Film schools from five European countries have seen their pupils receive a Student Academy Award
The 2019 Student Academy Awards, open to short films from film schools from across the world, has proven a successful one for Europe with film schools from across the continent taking home all the awards in the International section. The films were selected by Academy members from a total of 1,615 entries emanating from 255 US and 105 international colleges and universities.
Daria Kashcheeva was the recipient of the only placing in the Animation (International Film Schools) section. Daughter, from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in the Czech Republic, is a raw and honest puppet film that looks at grief as a girl mourns the loss of her father. The film has already had success at Annecy, winning the Cristal for Best Student Film, and has just had its North American premiere at Toronto.
The only placing in Documentary (International Film Schools) went to Poland’s Family. Directed by Yifan Sun, the film from the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School tells the moving story of Lola, a girl born in China who was given up for adoption due to China’s strict “one-child only” policies. After living in Belgium with a loving family for many years, Lola finally gets the chance to meet her birth parents. Despite the clash of cultures, Lola and her biological parents soon find common ground as she begins to understand them.
Three European film schools made up the placings in the Narrative (International Film Schools) section. Zoel Aeschbacher’s Bonobo, from the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Switzerland, follows three different characters that live in a social housing project who are all looking for some sort of meaning in life. The film has already proven popular, including winning the Audience Award at Clermont-Ferrand in 2018.
Dog Eat Dog, from Westerdals Kristiania University College in Norway, is Rikke Gregersen’s film that examines the uncomfortable situation a girl finds herself in when she is forced to stay with the boyfriend she wants to break up with when he tries to commit suicide.
The final placing was given to Charlie Manton’s November 1st. The product of the UK’s National Film and Television School sees stalwart British actors Lindsay Duncan and Sophia Myles star in the story of a mother and daughter who go to witness an execution. The film was also recently nominated for Best UK Short at the upcoming Raindance Film Festival.
All Student Academy Award-winning films are now eligible to compete for the 2019 Oscars in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film or Documentary Short Subject category. Winners will be invited to Los Angeles for a week of industry activities that will culminate in the awards ceremony on Thursday 17 October. The medal placements – gold, silver and bronze – in the seven award categories will be announced at the ceremony.
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