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Winners of the 2021 GSA BAFTA Student Awards Announced.

23 July 2021
Event: GSA BAFTA Student AwardsDate: Friday 23 July 2021 Venue: VirtualHost: TBC-BAFTA
  • Special Jury Prize Awarded To University of Southern California Student Yucong Rae Chen for her film “Unfinished Lives,” about the tragic 2014 killing of USC student, Xinran Ji.  
  • First-ever winners selected for Games and Immersive categories.
  • Short Film Commissioning Grant presented to support new projects on the subject of wellbeing.
  • Replay the Online Presentation on BAFTA’s YouTube Channel.

Los Angeles, July 23, 2021: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the winners of the 2021 GSA BAFTA Student Awards in a digital ceremony hosted by actor Elliot Knight. The presentation is available to watch on BAFTA’s YouTube channel.

The BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation was awarded to Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte and Zoé Devise from Pôle 3D, France for “Migrants.” The BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary was awarded to Yucong Rae Chen from the University of Southern California, USA for “Unfinished Lives.” The BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action was awarded to Olivia Hang Zhou from the American Film Institute, USA for “Apart, Together.” 

For the first time ever, winners of the BAFTA Student Award for Games and BAFTA Student Award for Immersive were announced at the virtual ceremony. The BAFTA Student Award for Games was awarded to Guillaume Roux from Isart Digital, France for “Symphonia,” while the BAFTA Student Award for Immersive was awarded to Yuxin Gao, Lillyan Ling, Gus Boehling and John Bruneau from New York University, USA for “Out for Delivery.”

The Special Jury Prize was presented to Yucong Rae Chen from the University of Southern California, USA for “Unfinished Lives.” The Special Jury of industry luminaries who selected the winning film included actor Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami…”), actor and director Colman Domingo (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), actor Aasif Mandvi (“This Way Up”), and costume designer Trish Summerville (“Mank”).

Three of the five winning projects focused on Chinese subjects, made by Chinese female directors: “Apart, Together” tells an inter-generational story of pain and resilience in the wake of China’s one-child policy; “Out for Delivery” follows Chinese migrant-workers in Beijing in January 2020, on the day that Wuhan first went into lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19; while “Unfinished Lives” tells the story of the investigation into and the aftermath of the tragic killing of Chinese USC student, Xinran Ji, in Los Angeles in 2014.

It is heartwarming to see the breadth of talent and ingenuity among the world’s student population, and the high standard of work being produced despite the many adversities placed in front of them. These remarkable finalists have delivered poignant, important and timely pieces of work and it is our honor to be shining a spotlight on their creativity and achievements. We are proud to be supporting their professional journeys and welcome them all to the BAFTA community.” said BAFTA Los Angeles Chair of the Board, Kathryn Busby.

Student finalists accepted their awards virtually from their homes, having taken part in a series of online events held by BAFTA. This year’s finalists were from China, South Africa, Norway, Denmark, France, the U.S. and U.K.

Additionally, the BAFTA-GSA Short Film Commissioning Grant was split between three students this year, including Clarisse Chua from California Institute of the Arts, USA who was awarded USD 3,000 for her film “Reset/Goosie Project,” William Martin from New York University, USA who was awarded USD 3,000 for his film “No Home,” and Razan Mohamed from American University of Dubai who was awarded USD 6,000 for his film “Touba Lahounna Documentary.” 

The USD 12,000 commissioning grant provides filmmakers with a platform to raise awareness and encourage change in how wellbeing is understood amongst 15 to 25-year-olds. This year’s winning films were selected by the BAFTA-GSA Grant Jury, comprised of Abby Bentley, Brand and Marketing Director at GSA; Lola Blanche, Writer/Director and 2019 BAFTA-GSA Grant recipient; James Costa, Producer and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the International Documentary Association (IDA); Drama Del Rosario, Documentary Filmmaker and 2019 BAFTA-GSA Grant recipient; Sabrina Doyle, Writer/Director, former BAFTA scholar; and Rocio Melara, Director of Development at Hillman Grad Productions. 

The GSA BAFTA Student Awards celebrates and rewards the next generation of talented and innovative filmmakers and creatives from around the globe. As one of BAFTA’s most global initiatives, this year’s 15 finalists were selected from over 680 submissions by students from film schools in 34 countries including China, South Africa, Norway, Denmark, France, the U.S.A. and the U.K.

In 2020, the BAFTA Student Award for Animation was awarded to Milan Baulard, Ismaïl Berrahma, Flore Dupont, Laurie Estampes, Quentin Nory and Hugo Potin from École des Nouvelles Images, France for “Sous La Glace.” The BAFTA Student Award for Documentary was awarded to Lucas Guilkey from University of California, Berkeley, USA for “What Happened to Dujuan Armstrong?,” while the BAFTA Student Award for Live Action was awarded to Tatiana Fedorovskaya from Higher Courses for Screenwriters and Film Directors, Russia for “Mum’s Hairpins.” The Special Jury Prize was presented to Laura Zéphirin from New York University, USA for “Making Waves.” The panel of industry luminaries who selected the winning films included journalist and filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab (“For Sama”), director Isabel Coixet (“The Bookshop”), director Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”), actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“The Morning Show”) and actor Clarke Peters(“Da 5 Bloods”). Additionally, the BAFTA-GSA Short Film Commissioning Grant was awarded to Mishal Mahmud from The University of Southern California, USA for her film, “Witness” and Julio Ramos for his film “Premature.” 


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

About Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA)

Space to Grow  

The team at Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) believes that what students learn and take away from university is about much more than the course they are studying. Accommodation is the cornerstone of student life, which is why GSA is focused on developing secure, vibrant communities which help students get the most out of university. 

GSA creates spaces 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, UAE, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Spain and the U.K.

GSA creates communities designed around students under several brands globally – Uninest Student Residences, The 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. Exceptional customer service underpins GSA’s strong communities, as does the company’s unique Student Wellbeing Strategy. Since 2018, the award-winning 9-pillar framework has been providing quality in-residence services to support students during what can be vulnerable transitions in their lives, raising awareness of potential catalysts for stress and teaching students the skills and resilience to overcome them. By the end of 2019, 30,000 students globally will have had access to the program.

The BAFTA Student Awards 2021 are presented by Global Student Accommodation (GSA).