The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced today that the BAFTA Student Film Awards will expand its application pool to include international submissions in 2017. In past years, the awards celebrated the best short films selected from submissions from more than 50 film schools in the US.
This year, over 250 film schools worldwide will be invited to submit films for consideration for four top prizes – the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation, the Student Film Award for Documentary, the Student Film Award for Live Action Film, and the Special Jury Prize, selected by the event’s revered panel members. Universities from Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, India, Israel, Lebanon, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, have already registered their participation. The gala ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Finalists and Special Jury members will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Even though last year’s Student Film Awards was limited to film schools in the US, our finalists came from the UK, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, India and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to the US,” said BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry. “As such, we see the expansion of this event to include foreign schools to be a natural, and exciting, step.”
“As an organization of a British film professionals based in Los Angeles, we recognize that talent doesn’t acknowledge national borders and good filmmaking is good filmmaking in any country,” added Peter Morris, the Chair of the BAFTA Los Angeles New Talent Committee.
BAFTA’s Student Film Awards competition has been expanded this year as part of BAFTA’s growing international footprint which seeks to foster strong talent connections across the UK, US and Asia. The expansion also furthers BAFTA Los Angeles’ work within its newly launched Access for All campaign, a commitment to ensuring that talented individuals are offered a clear pathway to careers in the entertainment industry, uninhibited by background, demographics or personal circumstance. The campaign will drive funds towards BAFTA Los Angeles’ acclaimed scholarship, education and community initiatives, allowing the organization to discover, support and nurture talented professionals.
In 2016, the BAFTA US Student Film Award, as it was previously named, was presented to Clara Roquet from Columbia University for “El Adiós” and the Special Jury Prize was awarded to Seth Boyden from California Institute for the Arts for “An Object At Rest”. The panel of Hollywood luminaries included BAFTA nominee Yann Demange (’71), BAFTA and Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (Inside Out), The Hollywood Reporter Film Critic and Editor Jon Frosch, BAFTA and Academy Award® winner William Goldenberg (Argo, The Imitation Game), actress Ashley Madekwe (Salem, Revenge), and STX Entertainment President Sophie Watts. The finalists were selected from 245 films submitted by 56 schools across the US, with each school submitting their best films for consideration.
The deadline for submissions to the BAFTA Student Film Awards is 5pm PST, Friday April 14th 2017.