AMPAS Presents Student Academy Awards in Beverly Hills
by Eugene Hernandez
Eleven students, from nine universities around the U.S., were honored as winners of the AMPAS 30th Student Academy Awards. The previously announced group participated in industry-related activities last week leading up to Sunday's awards ceremony where they learned the winners in each of the three award levels (gold, silver, and bronze).
In the documentary category, Christof Putzel won the gold medal and the $5,000 cash prize for "Left Behind." He attends Connecticut College in New London. Runners-up included Elizabeth Pollock (UC Berkeley) for "Indiana Aria" winning the $3,000 silver medal prize and Renee Fischer (Stanford) for "Those Who Trespass" who won the $2,000 bronze award.
Patricia Riggen from Columbia University in New York won the gold medal in the narrative category for "La Milpa" (The Cornfield). Daniel Lee (Columbia) won the silver for "Jesus Henry Christ" and Michael Downing and Philip Svoboda (AFI, Los Angeles) won the bronze for "fine."
In the animation categry, Kimberly Miner from the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) in New York won the gold medal for "Perpetual Motion." The silver prize went to Moonsung Lee (Academy of Art College, San Francisco) and the bronze medal was awarded to Wes Ball (Florida State University) for "A Work in Progress."
In the alternative category, only one medal was awarded. The winner of the gold medal was Waleed Moursi from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia for "The Projects Lumiere."
Florian Baxmeyer from the University of Hamburg in Germany was awarded the Honorary Foreign Film award for "The Red Jacket." The prize was a $1,000 cash grant. The winners were selected from 38 entries from 25 countries. Baxmeyer is the first winner from the German university.
Among the filmmaker's activities late last week in L.A., doc winner Christof Putzel told indieWIRE, were meetings and gatherings around town. At the DGA on Thursday the group met with directors Tom Shadyac ("Bruce Almighty," "Liar, Liar"), Chuck Braverman ("Beverly Hills 90210") and Jonathan Mostow ("Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"). While on Friday, during a trip to the ASC, they had brunch with a number of cinematographers, including Laszlo Kovacs ("My Best Friends Wedding," "Say Anything"). Saturday brought a Kodak champagne brunch followed by a screening of Disney/Pixar's new film, "Finding Nemo." The L.A. tour concluded with Sunday's awards program and the announcement of the award rankings.