AFI, NYU Take Top Prizes at Student Academy Awards

Gold medals also go to schools from France and Austria

"Skin" (American Film Institute)

AFI and NYU won gold medals at the 2023 Student Academy Awards, which took place on Tuesday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills.

The other two gold medals went to international schools, the École des Nouvelles Images in France and Filmakademie Wien in Austria.

Awards were given out in four categories, with up to three winners in each category being revealed ahead of time but the medal placement kept secret until the ceremony. Presenters included “Super Mario Bros. Movie” directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, Student Academy Awards committee chair Peggy Rajski and past Student Oscar winners Brad Bailey, Sujin Kim, Ken Kwapis, Freddy Macdonald, Olivia Peace and Kevin Wilson Jr. 

In the Alternative/Experimental category, the gold medal went to AFI student Leo Behrens’ “Skin,” with no silver or bronze medals handed out.

In the animation category, all three winners were from European schools: The gold medal went to “Boom” by Gabriel Augerai, Romain Augier and Yannick Jacquin from École des Nouvelles Images in France; the silver went to “Diplomatie de l’Éclipse” from César Luton, Achille Pasquier and Clémence Bailly from MoPA 3D Animation School in France; and the bronze went to “Mum’s Spaghetti” from Lisa Kenney of the National Film and Television School in the United Kingdom.

Documentary winners all came from schools in New York City, with NYU’s Giorgio Ghiotto and Lyuwei Chen winning gold and silver, respectively, for “Wings of Dust” and “Duet,” and Columbia University’s Jean Chapiro taking bronze for “Hasta Encontrarios (Till We Find Them).”

The narrative category was once again all European. Filmakademie Wien’s Mark Gerstorfer won the gold medal for “Invisible Border,” Den Norske Filmskolen’s Ian Aigin Stronach Forbes won silver for “Revisited” and Hamburg Media School’s Tamara Denićwon bronze for“Istina (Truth).”

All winners are now eligible for Academy Awards in the three short-film categories. Since the Student Academy Awards began in 1972, past winners have included Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, Pete Docter, John Lasseter and “South Park” creator Trey Parker.

The winners:

Gold: “Skin,” Leo Behrens, American Film Institute

Gold: “Boom,” Gabriel Augerai, Romain Augier & Yannick Jacquin, École des Nouvelles Images, France
Silver: “Diplomatie de l’Éclipse,” César Luton, Achille Pasquier & Clémence Bailly, MoPA 3D Animation School, France
Bronze: “Mum’s Spaghetti,” Lisa Kenney, National Film and Television School, United Kingdom

Gold: “Wings of Dust,” Giorgio Ghiotto, New York University
Silver: “Duet,” Lyuwei Chen, New York University
Bronze: “Hasta Encontrarlos (Till We Find Them),” Jean Chapiro, Columbia University

Gold: “Invisible Border,” Mark Gerstorfer, Filmakademie Wien, Austria
Silver: “Revisited,” Iain Aigin Stronach Forbes, Den Norske Filmskolen, Norway
Bronze: “Istina (Truth),” Tamara Denić, Hamburg Media School, Germany


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