Student Academy Award winners announced

May 18, 2004 by Ian Evans

Thirteen students from eight colleges and universities have been selected as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 31st annual Student Academy Awards competition. They will participate in a week of industry-related activities and social events that will culminate June 13 with the awards presentation ceremony at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. A film student from Denmark also has been selected to receive this year’s Honorary Foreign Film Student Award.

The winners are (listed alphabetically by film title within category):


  • Focus, Bill Ridlehoover and Nilanjan Neil Lahiri, Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia
  • S.P.I.C.: The Storyboard of My Life, Robert Castillo, School of Visual Arts, New York


  • Lemmings, Craig Van Dyke, Brigham Young University
  • Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher, Alexander Woo, New York University
  • Rock the World, Sukwon Shin, School of Visual Arts, New York


  • Cheerleader, Kimberlee Bassford, University of California, Berkeley
  • Cuba: Illogical Temple, David Pittock and Lindsey Kealy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • When the Storm Came, Shilpi Gupta, University of California, Berkeley


  • A-Alike, Randall Dottin, Columbia University
  • The Plunge, Todd Schulman, Florida State University
  • Zeke, Dana Buning, Florida State University

Honorary Foreign Student Film Award

  • Between Us, Laurits Munch-Petersen, National Film School of Denmark
While the U.S. students know they will each receive an award, the level of that award — gold, silver or bronze — will not be revealed until the June 13 ceremony. Besides trophies, gold medalists receive $5,000, silver medalists are awarded $3,000 and bronze medal recipients are presented with $2,000.

The American students first competed in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to send to the Academy as many as three films in each of the four categories as finalists. Academy members then screened the films and voted to select the winners.

The Honorary Foreign Film winner was selected from an original pool of 39 submissions — a record — from 23 countries. This is the fourth time that a student film from Denmark has won this particular award.

The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.

The June 13 Student Academy Awards presentation ceremony begins at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Clips from the bronze and silver medals will be shown and the gold medal films and Honorary Foreign Student film will be screened in their entirety. Seating is on a first-come basis only and early arrival is suggested as once capacity is reached, no one will be admitted, even with a ticket. To request a maximum of four tickets, call the Academy at (310) 247-3000, ext. 130. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.