Student Academy Awards 2023: 4 Key Takeaways

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The Student Academy Awards recently concluded its 2023 edition. As always, the event showcased some incredible talent and offered a glimpse into the future of the film industry. Here’s everything you need to know about the Student Academy Awards, where you can watch them, and which filmmakers were recognized this year.

What Are the Student Academy Awards?

The Student Academy Awards are an annual competition that recognizes and honors outstanding achievements in filmmaking by college and university students from around the world. Awards are given in four categories: narrative, animation, alternative/experimental, and documentary.

In addition to a cash grant for the gold, silver, and bronze awards, Student Academy Award-winning productions will all be eligible to compete for the year’s Oscars in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, or Documentary Short Film categories. This gives the participants an opportunity to achieve even more recognition as well as a substantial career jumpstart to get their name out into the industry.

American Winners

The Student Academy Awards were originally only given to American students, but in 1981, the Academy started giving an award for each category to a production outside of the United States. Last year, however, the Academy merged the awards together so American and foreign students compete against each other for the same awards.

This year there were four American productions that won gold, silver, or bronze awards for their work. Director Leo Behrens, a student from the American Film Institute, won a gold medal in the alternative/experimental category for his film ‘Skin.’ The top three awards in the documentary category were all given to American students. Director Giorgio Ghiotto won gold for his film ‘Wings of Dust,’ director Lyuwei Chen won silver for her film ‘Duet,’ and director Jean Chapiro won bronze for her film ‘Hasta Encontrarlos (Till We Find Them).’

Foreign Winners

As for the other six awards (the alternative/experimental category only gives out a gold award), students from all over Europe were recognized. In gold for the animation category were France’s Gabriel Augerai, Romain Augier & Yannick Jacquin with their film ‘Boom.’ The silver award was given to César Luton, Achille Pasquier & Clémence Bailly, also from France, for their film ‘Diplomatie de l’Éclipse.’ The bronze award was given to the UK’s Lisa Kenney for her film ‘Mum’s Spaghetti.’

In the narrative category, the gold winner was Austrian Mark Gerstorfer for his film ‘Invisible Border.’ Silver was won by Norwegian Iain Aigin Stronach Forbes for his film ‘Revisited,’ and the bronze award went to German Tamara Denić for her film ‘Istina (Truth).’

Where Can You Watch The Winning Films?

The films nominated for and winning awards aren’t all necessarily available for viewing online, but the students who created them may distribute them as they wish. The Academy owns the rights to many of the films, and nonprofits and educational institutions that wish to use the films can fill out a request form to obtain them through the Academy’s website.

As for the Student Academy Awards themselves, you can watch the official live stream of the awards ceremony on the Oscars YouTube channel.