Academy members will view these films at special screenings and vote to select the winners. (The number of members who actually attend the screenings is unclear.)
Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards, along with accompanying cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, may be presented in each of four categories.
The winning filmmakers will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry-related activities and social events that will culminate at the Student Academy Awards ceremony on Saturday, June 12, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The finalists are (listed alphabetically by film title):
- Balance, Debra Sea, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
- Multiply, Emily Henricks, University of Southern California
- My Mother's Prelude, Imran Shafi, University of Southern California
- Surface: Film from Below, Varathit Uthaisri, Parsons The New School for Design, New York
- Water, Moon, Mirror, Flower, Tianran Duan, University of Southern California
- Deadline, Bang Lao Yir, Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia
- Departure of Love, Jennifer Bors, Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida
- Down to the Bone, Peter Ahern, Pratt Institute, New York
- Dried Up, Isaiah Powers and Jeremy Casper, Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri
- Lifeline, Andres Salaff, California Institute of the Arts
- Mashed, Adam Fisher, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York
- Piece of Cake, Eliza Ivanova, California Institute of the Arts
- The Wonder Hospital, Beomsik Shimbe Shim, California Institute of the Arts
- A'plas, Diego Colombi, Savannah College of Art and Design
- Arresting Ana, Lucie Schwartz, University of California, Berkeley
- Dreams Awake (Suena Despierto), Kevin Gordon and Rebekah Meredith, Stanford University, California
- Ecoviews: Three Stories from Chesapeake Bay, Ted Roach and J.P. Eason, American University, Washington, D.C.
- My Name Is Sydney, Melanie Vi Levy, Stanford University
- Prayers for Peace, Dustin Grella, School of Visual Arts, New York
- Rediscovering Pape, Maria Royo, City College of New York
- When I'm 64, Caitlin Brown, New York University
- 'Yizkor' Remembrance, Ruth Fertig, University of Texas at Austin
- The Cemetery Club, Yitz Brilliant and Geoffrey Booth, Columbia University, New York
- Day Labor, Lowell Frank, San Diego State University, California
- Down in Number 5, Kim Spurlock, New York University
- Equestrian Sexual Response, Zeke Hawkins, American Film Institute, California
- God of Love, Luke Matheny, New York University
- Inspector 42, Nathan Lee and Lyvia Martinez, Brigham Young University
- The Last Bogatyr, Sarah R. Lotfi and Kevin Beechwood, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
- The Lunch Box, Lubomir Kocka, Savannah College of Art and Design
- Patrol, John Ford, American Film Institute
According to the Academy's press release, "to reach this stage, students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region is permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalists in each of the four categories."
A film by a student attending a foreign university or school will also be honored as the year's Honorary Foreign Film.
The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972. Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 40 Oscar nominations and have won or shared seven awards.
At the 82nd Academy Awards earlier this year, Pete Docter took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature for Up and 2009 Student Academy Award winner Gregg Helvey was a nominee in the Live Action Short Film category for Kavi.
The 37th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 12 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required. Tickets may be obtained online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.