Four students from École des Nouvelles Images have picked up a BAFTA Student Film Award For Animation for their short film Hors Piste (Off-piste). Léo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille Jalabert, and Oscar Malet, from the school in Avignon, France, won the animation prize at the ceremony on July 9.
Hors Piste is a cg short about two hapless mountain rescuers called Salami and Parmesan. It was nominated at this year’s Annies, and has been made available to stream on demand by its distributor, Miyu. Brunel, Jalabert, and Malet were also involved in Play-off, a short film we featured back in 2017.
At the BAFTAs, Hors Piste beat two other finalists: Apart by Diana Cam Van Nguyen (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic) and The Ostrich Politic by Mohamad Houhou (Gobelins, France).
The BAFTAs are the U.K.’s equivalent of the Oscars — the acronym stands for British Academy of Film and Television Arts — but the student award ceremony was held in Santa Monica. In the run-up to the ceremony, finalists got to take part in an array of special events and networking sessions hosted by the organization in Los Angeles. The award was voted on by BAFTA members in attendance at the award ceremony. This year saw 550 submissions — a record — from 38 countries.
For the first time, Netflix sponsored the event (in past years, Laika has sponsored the animation prize). The Global Student Accommodation Group returned as the presenting partner, creating a new grant to commission student projects about mental health. The recipients were Drama Del Rosario (New York Film Academy) for his documentary I’m Okay (And Neither Are You), and Lola Blanche Higgins (AFI Conservatory) for her short film project Kissy and the Shark. The two filmmakers will share the $12,000 grant.
The BAFTA Student Film Awards, which have been presented since 2004, expanded to become an international competition in 2017. Prior to that, the competition was only open to film schools in the United States.