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BAFTA Announces Winners of The 2018 Student Film Awards Presented by Global Student Accommodation (GSA)

30 June 2018
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Special Jury Prize Awarded To National Film and Television School Student Lucia Bulgheroni for her film Inanimate

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced the winners of the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards, presented by Global Student Accommodation (GSA) in a gala ceremony and presentation at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The Student Film Awards are a global BAFTA initiative, and a key component to BAFTA’s year round commitment to discovering and supporting new talent and career starters, whatever their background, race or gender.

The BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation presented by LAIKA 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.

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 across the world, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

“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 marvellous 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,” said Special Jury Prize winner Lucia Bulgheroni.

For the first time this year, Global Student Accommodation (GSA) Group sponsored the Student Film Awards. Animation studio LAIKA continued as the official sponsor of the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation. The BAFTA Student Film Awards competition is part of the organization’s growing international footprint, which seeks to foster strong talent connections across the U.K., U.S, Asia and beyond. The initiative also includes a curated season of events, seminars and meetings for the finalists, as well as year-round access to educational programming across the US and UK.

The expansion also furthers BAFTA Los Angeles’ work within its 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 2017, the first-ever BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation presented by LAIKA resulted in a tie between Alicia Jasina from USC for Once Upon a Line and Kal Athannassov, John McDonald and Echo Wu from the Ringling College of Art & Design for The Wishgranter. The BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action was presented to Jimmy Keyrouz from Columbia University for Nocturne in Black, while both the BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary and the Special Jury Prize were awarded to Daphne Matziaraki from UC Berkley for 4.1 Miles. The panel of industry notables included BAFTA® and Oscar® nominated directors Ron Clements and John Musker (Moana, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog), Oscar® nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, BAFTA® winning actor Ioan Gruffudd (Wales), Emmy® nominated director/producer David Gelb (Chef’s Table), and BAFTA® nominated editor Joan Sobel (Nocturnal Animals). The finalists were selected from over 400 films submitted by schools in 15 countries, with each school submitting their best films for consideration. 

For further information:

Caroline Stegner at Rogers & Cowan
T: (00 1) 310-854-8149
E[email protected]

About BAFTA and BAFTA Los Angeles

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit

Founded in 1987, BAFTA Los Angeles serves as a bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities. Its commitment to professional and community education is at the heart of all activity, including an award-winning community outreach programme, screenings, seminars, Behind Closed Doors series, Q&As, scholarships for British students studying in the US, a Newcomers Program for emerging British talents working in the US, and a Heritage Archive project that preserves in-depth interviews with the industry's leading talents for future generations. BAFTA Los Angeles celebrates and promotes excellence through its annual Britannia Awards, Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties and the Student Film Awards.

BAFTA Los Angeles is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation and relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing work.   

About The Theatre at Ace Hotel

The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles is Ace's loving re-animation of the historic United Artists Theater. Built in 1927 for the maverick film studio founded by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, The Theatre stands as a monument to a group of seminal American artists — modern iconoclasts striking out on their own. Ace’s restoration of this majestic space serves as a singular stage for art, film, dance and creative celebration in the heart of the Broadway Theater District’s vibrant modern renaissance. View all upcoming events at The Theatre at Ace Hotel DTLA at

About Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA)

Space to Grow 

The team at Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) believes that what we learn as students and take away with us for the rest of our lives is much more than the course we are studying. Perhaps our first home away from home, how we experience that accommodation will be the cornerstone of the story of our student life. That’s why GSA provides students with the security and vibrancy they need to get the most out of university.

GSA creates space to grow for university students by developing, managing and investing in student accommodation across a growing footprint of the world’s top university cities. Students can find a welcoming home away from home at GSA communities in cities across Australia, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Spain and the UK.

GSA creates communities designed around students under several brands globally – Uninest Student Residences;; Student Housing Company; and Nexo Residencias

Focused on delivering high levels of service, security and attention to detail, GSA’s team aims to deliver the best student living and hospitality experience possible. Five promises underpin its values and are at the heart of its exceptional customer service.

The BAFTA Student Film Awards 2018 are supported by Global Student Accommodation (GSA).


Fueled by the vision of its President & CEO Travis Knight, the animation studio LAIKA was founded in 2005. Located just outside of Portland, Oregon, LAIKA was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar® plaque in 2016 for its innovation in 3D printing. All of LAIKA’s four films: Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014) and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) were nominated for an Academy Award® for Outstanding Animated Feature. Kubo and the Two Strings also won the BAFTA for Best Animated Film and received an Oscar® nomination for Visual Effects.  LAIKA’s next film, Missing Link, will be released in Spring 2019 by Annapurna Pictures.  The film boasts a roster of international stars including Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana and Zach Galifianakis.  For more information, visit @LAIKAstudios    @LAIKAstudios   /LAIKAstudios   /LAIKAstudios.