2021 Student Academy Awards Winners and Medalists Revealed

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LOS ANGELES — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named 17 student winners of the 48th Student Academy Awards.

The gold, silver and bronze medals in the seven award categories will be presented by Academy Award-winning filmmaker and 1992 Student Academy Award winner Pete Docter, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and filmmakers Marielle Heller and Nanfu Wang in a virtual program highlighting the winners and their films on Thursday, October 21.

This year, the Student Academy Awards competition received a total of 1,404 submissions from 210 domestic and 126 international colleges and universities. The 2021 winners join the ranks of former Student Academy Award winners such as Patricia Cardoso, Cary Fukunaga, Spike Lee, Patricia Riggen and Robert Zemeckis.


The 2021 Student Academy Award medalists are:



Alternative/Experimental (national and international film schools)

Gold: “Frozen Out”, Hao Zhou, University of Iowa



Animation (national film schools)

Gold: “Unforgotten”, Sujin Kim, California Institute of the Arts

Silver: “Barking Orders”, Alexander Tullo, Ringling College of Art & Design

Bronze: “Sleep with Snakes”, Teagan Barrone, Cleveland Institute of Art



Animation (international film schools)

Gold: “Les Chaussures de Louis”, Théo Jamin, Kayu Leung and Marion Philippe, MoPA (France)



Documentary (national film schools)

Gold: “When They’re Gone”, Kristen Hwang, University of California, Berkeley

Silver: “Eagles Rest in Liangshan”, Bohao Liu, New York University

Bronze: “Not Just a Name”, De’Onna Young-Stephens, University of Southern California



Documentary (International Film Schools)

Or: “Why didn’t you stay for me?”, Milou Gevers, Nederlandse Filmacademie (Netherlands)



Storytelling (national film schools)

Gold: “When the Sun Goes Down”, Phumi Morare, Chapman University

Silver: “Strong ties to home country”, Akanksha Cruczynski, Columbia College Chicago

Bronze: “No Law, No Heaven”, Kristi Hoi, University of California, Los Angeles



Storytelling (international film schools)

Gold: “Tala’vision”, Murad Abu Eisheh, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Silver: “Adisa”, Simon Denda, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (Germany)

Bronze: “Bad Omen”, Salar Pashtoonyar, York University (Canada)


Honors for the first time go to the University of Iowa and the Cleveland Institute of Art.


All Student Academy Award-winning films are eligible to compete for the 2021 Oscars in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film or Documentary Short Film category. Past winners have received 65 Oscar nominations and won or shared 14 awards.


The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to provide a platform for emerging global talent by creating opportunities within the industry to showcase their work.

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