AFI MAKES HISTORY AT
2015 STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS
First-ever Sweep of Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in the Narrative Category
More Medals Earned than Any Other Film School This Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 17, 2015, Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute made history by winning all three medals — gold, silver and bronze — in the Narrative category of the 42nd Student Academy Awards competition. The top prize — the gold medal — went to Henry Hughes (AFI Class of 2014) for DAY ONE. The silver medal was awarded to Jeremy Cloe (AFI Class of 2014) for THIS WAY UP; and the bronze medal to Bennett Lasseter (AFI Class of 2014) for STEALTH. This year, AFI won more awards than any other film school and the sweep of the Narrative category is unprecedented in the history of the Student Academy Awards.
Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to earn 47 Oscar® nominations and either won or shared eight Academy Awards® — including two-time Student Academy Award winner John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and father of this year’s winner Bennett Lasseter.
This continues the winning streak of graduates for their AFI film work: the 2015 Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation First Prize; the 72nd Venice International Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize; five wins at the 36th College Television Awards; two wins at the 2014 DGA Student Film Awards and the 2015 BAFTA U.S. Student Film Award.
The winning films by AFI Conservatory Class graduates are now eligible for Oscars®:
DAY ONE: On her first day in Afghanistan, a U.S. Army interpreter is forced to deliver a child of an enemy bomb-maker. The short film’s credits include AFI Class of 2014 alumni: director/writer Henry Hughes, producer Michael Steiner, cinematographer Kee Sun Kyung, editor Anisha Acharya and production designer Benjamin Cox. The film also recently won the BAFTA U.S. Student Film Award and it earned director Hughes and producer Steiner the Directing award and the Drama award, respectively, at the 36th College Television Awards.
STEALTH: The heartwarming story of a brave, transgender tween. The short film’s credits include AFI Class of 2014 alumni: director Bennett Lasseter, writer/producer Melissa Hoppe, producer Muhua Yang, cinematographer Andressa Cor and editor Leo Chan. The film was also recognized at the 68th Cannes Film Festival’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase with an Honorable Mention. It also earned Hoppe the Children’s Programming award at the 36th College Television Awards.
THIS WAY UP: A homeless man living in a Las Vegas storm drain creates a fake life to hide the truth from his daughter. The short film’s credits include AFI Class of 2014 alumni: director/writer Jeremy Cloe, writer/producer Michael Langer, cinematographer Cory Warner, editor Steven Pristin and production designer Ying-Te “Julie” Chen.
About the AFI Conservatory
AFI Fellows make four to 10 films during their training. Graduates of the Conservatory are part of an elite group of 4,845 alumni — with 81% of AFI alumni working in the field according to a recent survey. Artists from the Conservatory have received a total of 133 Academy Award® nominations and 27 wins. Throughout the completed 2014-2015 academic year, AFI alumni have been nominated for 202 awards by 38 major guilds, academies and other professional associations — with 72 award wins.
The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Within the Conservatory is also a unique training program, the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). AFI Conservatory’s alumni have been consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards — Academy Awards®, Emmy Awards®, guild awards — as well as the Tony Awards®. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks serves as Artistic Director of the AFI Conservatory where he provides creative leadership for the elite film program. Proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory is American Airlines, the official airline of AFI and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.