By MCN Editor


Beverly Hills, CA – May 2, 2012 — Thirty-five students from 20 U.S. colleges and universities have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 39th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. Academy members will view the finalists’ films at special screenings and vote to select the winners. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards, along with accompanying cash grants of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 respectively, may be presented in each of four categories: Alternative, Animation, Documentary and Narrative. Winners will be brought to Los Angeles, along with the international student winners in the Foreign Student Film category, for a week of industry activities and social events that will culminate in the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 9, at 6 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The finalists are (listed alphabetically by film title):
“Falconer,” Micah Robert Barber, University of Texas at Austin
“In Between Shadows,” Tianran Duan, University of Southern California
“Last Remarks,” Umar Riaz, New York University
“Peace at Home,” Avital Epstein, Florida State University
“The Reality Clock,” Amanda Tasse, University of Southern California
“SiSiSiSiSiSiSiSiSiSiSi,” Juan Camilo González, University of Southern California
“Terra Cotta Warrior,” Bin Li, Rochester Institute of Technology
“Us,” Alex Lora, City College of New York

“Chocolate Milk,” Eliza Kinkz, University of California, Los Angeles
“Cowboy, Clone, Dust,” Matthew Christensen, New York University
“Eyrie,” David Wolter, California Institute of the Arts
“The Jockstrap Raiders,” Mark Nelson, University of California, Los Angeles
“La Lune et le Coq,” Raymond McCarthy Bergeron, Rochester Institute of Technology
“Lizard and the Ladder,” Aaron Bristow, Utah Valley University*
“My Little Friend,” Eric Prah, Ringling College of Art and Design
“Reviving Redwood,” Matt Sullivan, Ringling College of Art and Design
“Shinobi Blues,” Yue Liu, School of Visual Arts

“Dignity Harbor: A Home Away from Homeless,” Michael Gualdoni, Lindenwood University*
“Dying Green,” Ellen Tripler, American University
“Hiro: A Story of Japanese Internment,” Keiko Wright, New York University
“Lost Country,” Heather Burky, Art Institute of Jacksonville*
“Love Hacking,” Jenni Nelson, Stanford University
“Pot Country,” Mario Furloni, University of California, Berkeley
“Reporting on The Times: The New York Times and the Holocaust,” Emily Harrold, New York University
“Smoke Songs,” Briar March, Stanford University
“Why Am I Still Alive,” Hanzhang Shen, School of Visual Arts

“Benny,” Huay-Bing Law, University of Texas at Austin
“Contra el Mar,” Richard Parkin, University of California, Los Angeles
“Hatch,” Christoph Kuschnig, Columbia University
“Mr. Bellpond,” A. Todd Smith, Brigham Young University
“Nani,” Justin Tipping, American Film Institute
“Narcocorrido,” Ryan Prows, American Film Institute
“The Recorder Exam,” Bora Kim, Columbia University
“Requited,” Madeline Puzzo, Point Park University*
“Under,” Mark Raso, Columbia University

*Indicates first-time finalist entry for the school/university

To reach this stage, U.S. students 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 have selected students from Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom as finalists in the Foreign Film category.

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 46 Oscar® nominations and have won or shared eight awards. At the 84th Academy Awards earlier this year, 2011 Student Academy Award winners Hallvar Witzø and Max Zähle were nominated in the Live

Action Short Film category for “Tuba Atlantic” and “Raju,” respectively. James Spione, a Student Academy Award winner in 1987, earned a nomination in the Documentary Short Subject category for “Incident in New Baghdad.”

The 39th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 9 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required. Tickets are available now, 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. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

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“At a recent screening of Creed, as the familiar fanfare of Bill Conti’s beloved Rocky score signaled the start of the final round of the big fight, the audience burst into spontaneous applause. This was no sneak-preview crowd, primed with free admission and popcorn, but a room full of critics and journalists armored in professional skepticism. A cynic might say that the cheering was a Pavlovian reflex set off by a piece of commercial entertainment in the hands of a skilled, manipulative director. This cynic, however, was too busy choking up and clapping to form the thought.”
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