Kevin Wilson, Jr.'s “My Nephew Emmett” and Max R. A. Fedore's “Opera of Cruelty” both won gold medals at the 2017 Student Academy Awards, making them eligible for consideration in the short film category of the 90th Annual Academy Awards in March 2018.

Photo: Oscar statue

Two students at the NYU Tisch Kanbar Institute of Film & Television were awarded gold medals in the 2017 Student Academy Awards last night, making NYU Tisch Kanbar the only school in the world this year to claim two gold medal award winners. Both films are now eligible for consideration in the short film category of the 90th Annual Academy Awards in March 2018.

Current graduate film student Kevin Wilson, Jr., ’18 (MFA, Kanbar) won first honors in the narrative category for his film “My Nephew Emmett,” about a 64-year-old preacher who struggles to protect his 14-year-old nephew from two racist killers in Jim Crow Mississippi. Max R. A. Fedore, ’17 (BFA, Kanbar), now an alumnus of the undergraduate film program, won gold in the alternative category for “Opera of Cruelty,” which fuses together live performance, fashion, music, and cinematography in a choreographed production, inviting the audience to contemplate the concept of captivity.

Other Student Academy Award winners from NYU included Tisch graduate film alumna Marie Dvorakova, ’16 (MFA, Kanbar), who received a bronze medal in the narrative category for “Who’s Who in Mycology,” and Qingzi Fan, 2017 alumna of NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, who won a bronze medal in the documentary category for her film “One Way Home.”

“Once again, our innovative storytellers in the Kanbar institute have given the Tisch School of the Arts much to be proud of on the world stage,” said Allyson Green, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts. “These filmmakers, and the faculty who have instructed and mentored them, are shining examples of what’s possible when bold concepts are nurtured and supported by technical excellence.”

The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. This year’s films were chosen from among 1,587 submissions by 356 film schools around the world. Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards. These include most recently Tisch Kanbar graduate film alumnus Luke Matheny, ‘11 (MFA, Kanbar), a previous gold medal winner whose film “God of Love” went on to win the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in the 2011 Academy Awards. Other notable Student Academy Award alumni include John Lasseter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker, and Pete Docter, as well as NYU alumni Spike Lee and Cary Fukunaga.

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