Student Academy Award

Spike Lee

The Student Academy Awards is a competition held annually since 1973 to recognize and encourage promising new filmmakers. College and university film students from all over the United States compete for awards and cash grants, with films being judged in four categories: Animation, Documentary, Narrative and Alternative. Film students from outside the U.S. are honored each year as well. The presentation ceremony is held in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The Student Academy Award was designed by famed animator and graphic designer Saul Bass (1920–1996). An Oscar winner for his 1968 documentary “Why Man Creates,” Bass is credited with having revolutionized the design of film credits by using creative animation to replace the simple listing of names.

Some of his works, such as the title designs for “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Walk on the Wild Side,” have become classic examples of the craft. Among his other designs are the titles for “The Seven Year Itch,” “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Vertigo,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “Exodus,” “West Side Story” and “Goodfellas.”

Bass also created five Academy Award Presentation posters. As a nine-year member of the Academy’s Board of Governors, he was a champion for documentary and short films.

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