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Representing the next generation of filmmakers, the winners discussed the importance of film as a medium for different perspectives.

Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma, a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design, was almost finished with her animated short, "Ciervo," when the pandemic broke out in March. Less than a month before school was due to end, she had to be smart.

“I had to go back to live with my parents. Luckily I finished the animation, ”she said. “But I had to completely change the sound programs. It came out well … I included flute in my movie when I probably wouldn't have because I had access to my middle school flute that was lying around in my bedroom. "

"Good" is an understatement. Garcia-Fernandezsesma won a gold medal at the Student Academy Awards, one of 18 student winners at this year's ceremony, which was streamed online on Wednesday. Garcia-Fernandezsesma and her co-winners spoke during a virtual junket Tuesday.

The winners were selected by the votes of the academy members from 1,474 entries representing 207 national and 121 international colleges and universities. Although winners were announced in September, medal placements were announced on Wednesday. Everyone is entitled to compete in the categories animated short film, live-action short film or documentary short topic at the Oscars 2021. Clips of the winning films are available on the academy's website.



Of the 15 winning films, 13 are women; In addition to the USA, the filmmakers come from Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Mexico and Norway. All in all, it's the academy's most diverse class since the student awards began in 1972. Daniela Dwek, a member of the bronze-winning team that shot the animated short "Hamsa," discussed the role she and her colleagues play .

"We all have an advantage: most people have phones and start editing videos and putting things together at a much younger age," she said. "I think it's getting more and more political for the future generation, we need more voices in the film industry and we need new stories."

"Hamsa," the graduation film from the School of Visual Arts by Dwek, Maya Mendonca and Chrisy Baek, explores the fear of the "other" instilled in a young Israeli girl who is able to put her differences aside when it is confronted with a common respect.

The winners:

Alternative / experimental (national and international film schools)
Gold: "Simulacra", Curry Sicong Tian, ​​University of Southern California

Animation (domestic film schools)
Gold: “Ciervo”, Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma, Rhode Island School of Design
Silver: "Mime Your Manners", Kate Namowicz and Skyler Porras from the Ringling College of Art & Design
Bronze: "Hamsa", Daniela Dwek, Maya Mendonca and Chrisy Baek, School of Visual Arts

Animation (international film schools)
Gold: "The Beauty", Pascal Schelbli, Film Academy Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Documentary (domestic film schools)
Gold: "Unfinished Lives," Yucong Chen, University of Southern California
Silver: "The Dope Years: The Tale of Latasha Harlins," Allison A. Waite, University of Southern California
Bronze: “Making waves”, Laura Zéphirin, New York University

Documentary film (international film schools)
Gold: "Dear Father …", Maren Klakegg, Westerdals Institute for Film and Media, Kristiania University College (Norway)

Narrative (domestic film schools)
Gold: "Umama", Talia Smith, New York University
Silver: "Bittu", Karishma Dube, New York University
Bronze: "Sweet Potatoes", Rommel Villa Barriga, University of Southern California

Narration (International Film Schools)
Gold: "My dear corpses", German Golub, Baltic Film and Media School, Tallinn University (Estonia)
Silver: "Crescendo", Percival Argüero Mendoza, Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (Mexico)
Bronze: "I was still there when you left me", Marie Mc Court, Institut des Arts de Diffusion (Belgium)

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