2008 Student Academy Awards finalists announced

May 01, 2008 by Ian Evans

The 35th Annual Student Academy Awards competition is in its final leg now as thirty-two students from 20 colleges and universities were selected as finalists by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Their films will now be screened for and judged by Academy members, who will vote to select the winners. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards, along with accompanying cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, may be presented in each of four categories. Winning filmmakers will participate in a week of industry-related and social activities, culminating in the awards ceremony on June 7.

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


  • Circles of Confusion, Phoebe Tooke, San Francisco State University
  • Come Wander With Me, Phillip Van, New York University
  • Comfort Zone, Mandi Lin, California College of the Arts
  • A Convolution of Imagined Histories, Thomas Micah Stansell, Georgia State University
  • Doxology, Michael Langan, Rhode Island School of Design
  • Fish, Hyun Jeen Lee, The School of Visual Arts, New York
  • Viola: The Traveling Rooms of a Little Giant, Shih-Ting Hung, University of Southern California


  • The Gloaming, Andrew Huang, University of Southern California
  • Mr. Popcorn, Alexander Krivicich, Cornell University, New York
  • Paper Shepherd, David Houry, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio
  • Simulacra, Tatchapon Lertwirojkul, The School of Visual Arts
  • Snow Day, Kim Hazel, Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida
  • Toumai, Carlos Stevens, The Art Institute of Portland, Oregon
  • The Visionary, Evan Mayfield, Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Zoologic, Nicole Mitchell, California Institute of the Arts


  • As We Forgive, Laura Waters Hinson, American University, Washington, D.C.
  • If a Body Meet a Body, Brian Davis, University of Southern California
  • The Legend of Rosalie, Nicholas Berger, Stanford University
  • Recruiter, Adam Salky, Columbia University, New York
  • Song of a Sperm Donor, Emmanuel Dayan, Stanford University
  • Tijuana, Nada Mas, Yolanda Pividal, City College of New York
  • Unattached, J.J. Adler, Columbia University


  • Cassandra, Mauricio Chernovetzky, San Diego State University
  • A Day’s Work, Rajeev Dassani, University of Southern California
  • A Death in Progress, Donald Bitters III, Columbia College Chicago
  • Mr. A., Joe Murphy, Columbia University
  • PAL/SECAM, Dmitry Povolotsky, Columbia University
  • Picture Day, Nick Paley, New York University
  • Pitstop, Melanie McGraw, University of Southern California
  • Red Wednesday, Nazanin Shirazi, University of Texas at Austin
  • The State of Sunshine, Z. Eric Yang, Florida State University
  • Wianbu — Comfort Woman, James Bang, Columbia University

These finalists initially competed in one of three regional competitions. A foreign student also will be honored by the Academy in the Honorary Foreign Film category. Academy voters have selected students from the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Israel and Slovenia as finalists.

Established in 1972, 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 35 Oscar® nominations and have won or shared six Academy Awards.

Tickets for the 35th Annual Student Academy Awards presentation ceremony, at which the Gold Medal-winning films and the winning foreign student film will be screened in their entirety, are free and now available. A maximum of four tickets may be requested online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, by mail, or by calling the Student Academy Awards department at (310) 247-3000, ext. 130. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 7, at 6 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater, located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 5 p.m. All seating is unreserved.