The 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Award has been presented to Clara Roquet from Columbia University for “El Adiós”. BAFTA members screened all eight final films in contention and voted on the top honor last night at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Now in its thirteenth year, the event identifies and celebrates the very best student short films produced in the US.
Getty Images for BAFTA LAThe 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® Award Nominee Yann Demange (’71), Academy Award® Winner Pete Docter (Inside Out), The Hollywood Reporter Film Critic and Editor Jon Frosch, 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.
“What an exceptional bunch of films,” said Docter. “It was a pleasure being in the audience tonight.”
“I was very impressed by the level of talent that I saw this evening, and the wide range of subject matter” added Madekwe. “I know how important it is to support new talent with fresh ideas. I remember how significant it was when I was a student and working professionals came in to mentor us. It made me really feel like I was a part of something.”
"The Student Film Awards help to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to celebrating new talent and connecting promising international students with BAFTA’s membership and programming,” said Kieran Breen, BAFTA Los Angeles Chairman. “The quantity and quality of the talent who entered is, quite frankly, staggering. They will help to strengthen the bridge between the UK and US entertainment community for years to come.”
“BAFTA is passionate about mentoring and showcasing a new generation of filmmakers, and we are committed to equipping them with the tools to enter the industry and succeed," said Luke Parker Bowles, BAFTA New York Chairman. "We are proud of all the students involved in the 2016 US Student Film Awards and look forward to the future of the awards as a platform for exciting new talent."
The evening concluded with an after-party and the presentation of this year's Student Film Award and Special Jury Prize winners.
A collaboration between BAFTA Los Angeles and BAFTA New York, the BAFTA US Student Film Awards presented by AKA identify and celebrate the best creative works produced by American and international students studying in the United States. The event is presented as part of BAFTA’s on-going global commitment to supporting and developing emerging talents, with the finalists also invited to attend BAFTA’s year-round educational events in the US, UK and beyond. The BAFTA US Student Film Awards also serves to connect rising international student filmmakers with experts from the UK entertainment industry.
The 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Awards was sponsored by AKA, Afex, American Airlines, Adrian Flambard, AMD, MPE, and The Farm LA.