While still not known who will receive the gold medal, the three Student Academy Award medalists this year are (l. to r.) "Taking the Plunge," "An Object at Rest," and "Soar."
While still not known who will receive the gold medal, the three Student Academy Award medalists this year are (l. to r.) “Taking the Plunge,” “An Object at Rest,” and “Soar.”

Medalists for the 42nd Student Academy Awards have been chosen — although their specific placements in gold, silver, and bronze won’t be announced until a September 17 awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.

But animation is well-represented, inside and outside of its category. The two animated projects in the Alternative category — Chiaroscuro by Chapman University’s Daniel Drummond and Zoe by the School of Visual Arts’s ChiHyun Lee — were the only projects to medal in that category.

The proper Animation category also brought medals to California Institute of the Arts’ Seth Boyden for An Object at Rest, Academy of Art University’s Alyce Tzue for Soar, and the School of Visual Arts’s Nicholas Manfredi and Elizabeth Ku-Herrero for Taking the Plunge (the latter film was also made by Thaddaeus Andreades and Marie Raoult, though we assume for Academy purposes, only two of the filmmakers are listed):

Owning two of five overall Student Academy Awards categories — which also includes Documentary, Foreign and Narrative — animation is punching above its industry weight with today’s best and brightest.

Also of note, Bennett Lasseter, the son of Pixar and Disney chief creative officer John Lasseter, won a medal for his live-action short Stealth in the narrative category. Papa Lasseter won the Student Academy Award twice, once in 1979 for Lady and the Lamp, and again in 1980 for Nitemare.

Selected from seven Animation finalists, Boyden, Tzue, Manfredi, and Ku-Herrero will join the rest of the Student Academy Awards winners in September for a week of industry activities, culminating in an evening ceremony at Beverly Hills’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater that is free and open to the public. Required advance tickets can be obtained at Oscars.org.

And while we have yet to know which student won what medal, what we do know is that all of them can now say something the rest of us likely cannot. Which is that they have all won awards previously given to the directors of Inside Out and Who Framed Roger Rabbit and South Park and … well, you get the picture.

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