Five finalists will be vying for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2009 Honorary Foreign Film award in the 36th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. The five finalists were selected from a record 57 entries representing 39 countries. The winning student filmmaker will be brought to Los Angeles to join U.S.-based Student Academy Award winners “for a week of industry-related activities and social events,” including the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 13, in Beverly Hills.
The finalists are (listed alphabetically by film title):
Elkland (above, center photo), Per Hanefjord, Dramatiska Institutet, Sweden
Face-to-Face Confrontation, Igor Khomsky, Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, Russia
The Incredible Story of My Great Grandmother Olive (above, lower photo), Alberto Rodríguez, National Film and Television School, United Kingdom
Our Wonderful Nature (above, top photo), Tomer Eshed, HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany
Pinhas, Pini Tavger, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Last year's Honorary Foreign Film winner, Reto Caffi, went on to receive an 2009 Oscar nomination in the best live action short film category for Auf der Streke (On the Line). In 2005, student winner Ulrike Grote's Ausreisser (The Runaway) was nominated as well, while in 2003 student winner Martin Strange-Hansen of Denmark won the Oscar for This Charming Man (Der Er Eu Yudig Mand). (The previous year, Strange-Hansen had won the Honorary Foreign Film award for Feeding Desire.)
Also, in 2000 German filmmaker Florian Gallenberger, whose John Rabe was the big winner at this year's Lola Awards, won both the Honorary Foreign Film award and the live action short film Oscar for Quiero Ser (I Want to be…).
Two other previous winners, Jan Sverak, who was a student in the former Czechoslovakia, and Mike van Diem of The Netherlands, have gone on to direct films that won Oscars in the Foreign Language Film category – Kolya and Karakter, respectively.
Tickets for the 36th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony, at which the Honorary Foreign Film and the Gold Medal award-winning films from the U.S. will be screened in their entirety, are free and available now. A maximum of four tickets may be requested online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, by mail or by calling the Student Academy Awards department at (310) 247-3000, ext. 130. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 13, at 6 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater, located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 5 p.m. All seating is unreserved.