On June 29, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (www.bafta.org) announced the winners of the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards, presented by Global Student Accommodation in a gala ceremony and presentation held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The Student Film Awards is a global BAFTA initiative, and a key component to BAFTA’s year round commitment to discovering and supporting new talents and career starters, whatever their background, race or gender.
The BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation presented by LAIKA’s Brad Wald and Brad Schiff was awarded to Beth David and Esteban Bravo from Ringling College of Art and Design for “In a Heartbeat.” The BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary was awarded to Lindsey Parietti from the University of the West of England, U.K. for “Blood Island.” The BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action was awarded to Kevin Wilson Jr. from New York University for “My Nephew Emmett.” Finally, the Special Jury Prize was presented to Lucia Bulgheroni from National Film and Television School, U.K. for “Inanimate.”
The panel of industry luminaries included Amy Adrion (Half the Picture), Jen McGowan (Kelly & Cal, Rust Creek), Justin Simien (Dear White People), Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, Cool Runnings), Kim Yutani (Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival) and writing duo Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais (The Commitments, Flushed Away).
Following the international expansion of the awards in 2017, this year’s nine finalists were selected from 469 submissions by students at film schools in 35 countries. One special mention from the evening is the documentary nominated film by Brad Bailey of the University of California, Berkeley, “Hale,” the inspiring story of the “grandfather of the disability movement” Hale Zukas, who was also in attendance at the gala evening.
“I was really blown away. It was quite exciting to hear and see all of these stories that you traditionally don’t get to see all at once,” said Special Jury member Justin Simien. “I think that these programs really speak to a marvelous future in filmmaking. If I get to look forward to these people being the ones who are bringing the new stories, it’s an exciting future. We are hearing women’s voices, voices from people of color and voices from different kinds of sexuality. If we can have that sort of breadth of filmmaking in stories every year at the box office, that would be a dream come true.”
“The program was filled with surprises and I liked the combination of animation, live action and documentary. I felt like it took the viewer on a real ride,” added Special Jury member Kim Yutani.
“Making a film is an amazing journey. What I learned most is that you have to trust yourself, because when you do that, it is actually when you start to be satisfied by yourself and make great things,” commented Special Jury Prize winner Lucia Bulgheroni.
For the first time this year, Global Student Accommodation Group sponsored the Student Film Awards and acclaimed animation studio LAIKA continued as the official sponsor of the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation.