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BAFTA announces the nine finalists for 2018 student film awards supported by GSA


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22 May 2018

Students from the U.S., U.K., Germany and Norway among the finalists, selected from 469 film submissions from 35 countries

Gala ceremony to take place Friday, June 29 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles

Partners for global expansion to include Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) and award-winning animation studio LAIKA

Los Angeles, May 21, 2018: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has today announced the nine finalists for the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards supported by Global Student Accommodation (GSA). Following the international expansion of the Awards in 2017, this year’s finalists have been 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.

These finalists were chosen from within the previously announced 60 shortlisted films.

"The incredible standard of emerging filmmaking talent across the globe continues to impress, and BAFTA is proud to recognize and support these student filmmakers as they embark on their careers," said Amanda Berry, BAFTA CEO. "We are looking forward to selecting our winners and showcasing their stunning work in June."

Also announced today was the support of Global Student Accommodation (GSA) Group, who will sponsor the Student Film Awards for the first time. Animation studio LAIKA continues as the official sponsor of the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation.

Nicholas Porter, Chairman, Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) said, “We are always inspired by what students can achieve and we see their potential on a daily basis as we provide student accommodation, globally. This is a wonderful opportunity to join forces with the BAFTA Student Film Awards to celebrate students’ work as they embark on their filmmaking careers and bring their first filmmaking dreams to reality.”

"We are honored to sponsor the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation for a second year,” said Travis Knight, President and CEO of LAIKA and last year’s BAFTA winner for Best Animated Film for Kubo and the Two Strings. "BAFTA’s commitment to supporting bold and diverse student filmmakers from across the globe enriches the entire filmmaking industry. LAIKA is proud to team with the British Academy to champion this vital program for emerging artists.”

Film schools worldwide were invited to submit up to nine films for consideration for four top prizes – the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation presented by LAIKA, the BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary, the BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action Film, and the Special Jury Prize, selected by the event’s panel members.

Last week, BAFTA programmed a series of events and seminars for student filmmakers selected for the BAFTA Student Film Awards Shortlist. Students in New York and Los Angeles were treated to interview and networking events with James Schamus, Ron Yerxa, Celine Rattray, Jon Turtletaub, Stacey Offman and other working writers, directors, executives and agents in the hopes of providing them the insight and connections they need to jumpstart their careers. On May 17, parties were held in London, Los Angeles and New York to celebrate the local filmmakers and film schools featured on the shortlist.

BAFTA’s Student Film Awards competition was expanded as part of BAFTA’s growing international footprint, which seeks to foster strong talent connections across the U.K., U.S, Asia and beyond. 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.

The shortlisted films are (listed alphabetically by film title with director names):


Kiana Naghshineh
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Lucia Bulgheroni
National Film and Television School, U.K.

In A Heartbeat
Beth David and Esteban Bravo
Ringling College of Art and Design, USA



Blood Island
Lindsey Parietti
University of the West of England, U.K.

Brad Bailey
UC Berkeley, USA

Love In 35mm
Federica Gargarella
Goldsmiths, University of London, U.K.



Mauritz Brekke Solberg and Daniel Fure Schwarz
Kristiania University College, Norway

Huay-Bing Law
The University of Texas at Austin, USA

My Nephew Emmett
Kevin Wilson
New York University, USA

The gala ceremony will take place on Friday, June 29, 2018 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Special Jury members will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the event are now available here. The official hashtag for this year’s awards is #baftastudents.

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.


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