BAFTA Unveils Winners of Student Film Awards

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'Moana' directors Ron Clements and John Musker were among the judges for the annual competition.

On Thursday night at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles announced the winners of its 2017 Student Film Awards.

The winners were selected from a pool of over 400 submissions by films students, across four categories: animation, documentary, live action and a jury prize. This year, the pool of submissions expanded from national to global entries, with projects coming from Argentina, Austria and China.

The the first-ever animation award, sponsored by LAIKA, was presented in a tie to Alicja Jasina from the University of Southern California for Once Upon a Line and Kal Athannassov, John McDonald and Echo Wu from Ringling College of Art & Design for The Wishgranter.  

The documentary prize was awarded to Daphne Matziaraki from University of California, Berkeley for 4.1 Miles, while the live-action award went to Jimmy Keyrouz from Columbia University for Nocturne in Black. The Special Jury Prize also went to Matziaraki.

Judges for this year's awards included Moana directors Ron Clements and John Musker, actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, actor Ioan Gruffudd, director/producer David Gelb (Chef’s Table), and editor Joan Sobel (Nocturnal Animals).

“This was a very exciting experience for me. The films were so moving and I was glad to have seen them all,” said Clements. “I was not sure what to expect, but was incredibly impressed with the quality of the students’ work.”

Looking forward to next year, BAFTA LA CEO Chantal Rickards told THR that she hopes to expand the competition into the gaming space, adding a possible interactive category. 

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