Notable Student Academy Award Winners

Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg

The following Student Academy Award-winning alumni represent a group that has earned 40 Oscar nominations, 7 Academy Awards, one Special Achievement Academy Award and numerous Emmys.

Pictured here is 1975 Student Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis with Steven Spielberg after winning the Academy Award for directing "Forrest Gump" in 1994.

Shane Acker

Shane Acker (University of California, Los Angeles)

Acker received the Animation Gold Medal award for his film "9" in 2005. The film went on to earn an Academy Award® nomination in the Animated Short Film category that same year. Acker went on to direct a full-length feature version of his film "9."

Florian Baxmeyer

Florian Baxmeyer (The University of Hamburg, Germany)

Baxmeyer received the Honorary Foreign Film award for his film "Die Rote Jacke (The Red Jacket)" in 2003. The film went on to earn an Oscar® nomination for Live Action Short Film in 2003. Baxmeyer is currently working on "The Three Investigators and the Secret of Terror Castle."

Izak Ben-Meir

Izak Ben-Meir (University of Southern California)

Ben-Meir received a Documentary Merit award for his film "In the Wee Wee Hours" in 1987. The film went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Documentary Short Subject in 1987. Ben-Meir now works as a sound mixer on various film and television projects, including "Survival Quest" and A&E's "Biography."

Marc-Andrewas Bochert

Marc-Andreas Bochert (Hochschule für Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf," Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany)

Bochert received the Honorary Foreign Film award for his film "Kleingeld (Small Change)" in 1999. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Live Action Short Film in 1999. Bochert is currently directing the children's series "Anja & Anton" in Germany.

Patricia Cardoso (University of California, Los Angeles)

Cardoso received the Dramatic Gold Medal award in 1996 for her film "The Water Carrier." She subsequently directed "Real Women Have Curves" (2002) and is currently in production on "The Jane Plan," due out later this year, and "Nappily Ever After," due out in 2012.

Chris Carson (Loyola Marymount University)

Carson earned the Documentary Silver Medal award in 1992 for his film "Dolphins: Minds in the Water." He later served as the executive producer and director on the PBS series "The Living Century." Carson is currently producing "1066," about the pivotal date in British history.

Adam Davidson

Adam Davidson (Columbia University)

Davidson received the Dramatic Achievement award for his film "The Lunch Date" in 1990. The film went on to win the Oscar for Live Action Short that same year. Davidson continues to work in film and television; his directing credits include episodes of " Six Feet Under," "Monk" and "Grey's Anatomy."

Paul Demeyer (California Institute of the Arts)

Demeyer received the Animation Achievement award in 1977 for his film "The Muse." He worked on "The Rugrats Movie," "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie" and "The Wild Thornberrys Movie." He earned two Emmy nominations for his work as creative producer on "The Rugrats" animated television series.

Pete Docter

Pete Docter (California Institute of Arts)

Docter received the Animation Gold Medal award for his film "Next Door." Docter has since earned Academy Award nominations in the Original Screenplay category for "Toy Story," Animated Feature Film category for "Monsters, Inc.," and Animated Short Film category for "Mike's New Car." Docter served as an executive producer on "WALL-E" for Pixar. He most recently was nominated for the animated feature "Up," in the screenwriting category and as Best Animated Feature, for which he won the Oscar.

Alan Edelstein

Alan Edelstein (New York University)

Edelstein received a Documentary Merit award, with Peter Friedman, for the film "The Wizard of the Strings" in 1984. The film went on to earn a nomination for Documentary Short Subject in 1985.

Thomas B. Fleming

Thomas B. Fleming (University of Southern California)

Fleming received the Documentary Achievement award, with Daniel Marks, for the film "Gang Cops" in 1984. The film went on to earn a nomination for Documentary Short Subject in 1985.

Florian Gallenberger

Florian Gallenberger (Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Munich, Germany)

Gallenberger received the Honorary Foreign Film award for his film "Quiero Ser" in 2000. The film went on to earn an Oscar for Live Action Short that same year. Gallenberger is currently working on "John Rabe."

Ulrike Grote

Ulrike Grote (University of Hamburg, Germany)

Grote received the Honorary Foreign Film award for her film "The Runaway (Ausreisser)" in 2005. The film went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Live Action Short film in 2005. Grote is now an instructor at the Academy of Music & Theater in Hamburg and is currently preparing her first feature-length film.

Roland Halle

Roland Hallé (Boston University)

Hallé received the Documentary Achievement award, with Peter W. Ladue, for the film "Karl Hess: Toward Liberty" in 1980. The film went on to win the Oscar for Documentary Short Subject that same year. Hallé received his second Academy Award nomination for the Documentary Short Subject "Urge to Build" in 1981.

Mark Herman (National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield, Great Britain)

Herman received an Honorary Foreign Film award in 1987 for his film "See You at Wembley, Frankie Walsh." He has since written and directed several films, including "Little Voice" (1998) and "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (2008).

Todd Holland

Todd Holland (University of California, Los Angeles)

Holland received a Dramatic Merit award in 1986 for his film "Chicken Thing." He has since had a successful career as a television director working on "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle."

Mark Kirkland (California Institute of the Arts)

Kirkland received the Animation Achievement award in 1976, with Richard Jefferies, for the film "Fame," which uses graphical animation techniques and is set to the David Bowie song of the same name. Since 1990 Kirkland has served as a director on the long-running animated television series "The Simpsons," for which he has won three Primetime Emmys®.

Dan Krauss

Dan Krauss (University of California, Berkeley)

Krauss received the Documentary Gold Medal award for his film "The Life of Kevin Carter" in 2005. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Documentary Short Subject in 2005. Krauss is now working on another Kevin Carter project, currently untitled.

Ken Kwapis

Ken Kwapis (University of Southern California)

Kwapis received the Dramatic Achievement award in 1982 for his film "For Heaven's Sake." He is now a television director working on such shows as "The Office," "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle." Kwapis also has directed several feature films, including "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," "License to Wed" and "He's Just Not That into You."

Peter Ladue

Peter W. Ladue (Boston University)

Ladue received the Documentary Achievement award, along with Roland Hallé, for the film "Karl Hess: Toward Liberty" in 1980. The film went on to win the Oscar for Documentary Short Subject that same year.

John Lasseter

John Lasseter (California Institute of the Arts)

Lasseter received consecutive Animation Achievement awards for his films "Lady and the Lamp" and "Nitemare" in 1979 and 1980. Lasseter has gone on to earn five Academy Award nominations and won an Oscar for the animated short film "Tin Toy." In 1995 the Academy presented Lasseter with a Special Achievement Award for his inspired leadership of the Pixar "Toy Story" team. A founding partner of Pixar Animation Studios, Lasseter's latest release is "Toy Story 3."

Lauren Lazin

Lauren Lazin (Stanford University)

Lazin received a Documentary Merit award for her film "The Flapper Story" in 1986. In 2004 Lazin's documentary "Tupac: Resurrection" earned an Academy Award nomination. Lazin is now an executive producer at MTV and is currently working on a documentary about the band The Police.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee (New York University)

Lee received a Dramatic Merit award in 1983 for his film "Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads." In 1989 Lee was nominated for the original screenplay for "Do the Right Thing." In 1997 his film "4 Little Girls" was nominated for Documentary Feature. Lee's writer-producer-director credits include such films as "Mo' Better Blues," "Malcolm X," "Clockers," "Bamboozled" and "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," an examination of the U.S. government's role in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

James Longley

James Longley (Wesleyan University)

Longley received a Documentary Silver Medal award, with Robin Hessman, for the film "Portrait of Boy with Dog," in 1994. Longley's recent films, the documentary feature "Iraq in Fragments" and the documentary short subject "Sari's Mother," both earned Academy Award nominations.

Albert Magnoli (University of Southern California)

Magnoli earned a Documentary Merit award in 1981 for his film "Jazz." He later wrote, directed and edited "Purple Rain" (1984). Magnoli is currently directing "Primal Scream," a thriller due out next year.

Daniel Marks

Daniel Marks (University of Southern California)

Marks received a Documentary Achievement award, with Thomas B. Fleming, for the film "Gang Cops" in 1988. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Documentary Short Subject that same year.

Shawn Maurer (Loyola Marymount University)

Maurer received the Documentary Achievement award in 1989 for his film "Leila." He has since worked as the director of photography on "Like Mike" (2002), "Meet the Spartans" (2008) and "Black Dynamite" (2009).

Amanda Micheli

Amanda Micheli (Harvard University)

Micheli received the Documentary Silver Medal award in 1996 for her film "Just for the Ride." She has since served as cinematographer on the documentaries "The AMC Project: Lookalikes," "Thin" and "What Would Jesus Buy?" In 2007 Micheli (along with Isabel Vega) earned an Oscar nomination for Documentary Short Subject for "La Corona."

Lynn Mueller

Lynn Mueller (Stanford University)

Mueller received the Documentary Achievement award for her film "Silver into Gold" in 1987. The film went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Documentary Short Subject that same year.

Joe Murray (De Anza College, San Francisco)

Murray received an Animation Merit award in 1989 for his film "The Chore." He created the Nickelodeon animated series "Rocko's Modern Life" and currently works on the Cartoon Network series "Camp Lazlo," for which he has won two Primetime Emmys® for his work.

Trey Parker

Trey Parker (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Parker received an Animation Silver Medal award, along with Chris Graves, in 1993 for the film "American History." Parker went on to create the television series "South Park." He earned an Oscar nomination for Original Song for "Blame Canada" from "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut."

Patricia Riggen (Columbia University)

Riggen received the Narrative Gold Medal award in 2003 for her film "La Milpa (The Cornfield)." Her film "La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)" premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Bob Saget

Bob Saget (Temple University, Philadelphia)

Saget received a Documentary Merit award in 1978 for his film "Through Adam's Eyes." Saget's subsequent credits include "Full House," "Dirty Work" and "Farce of the Penguins." He was the host of "America's Funniest Home Videos" and is the narrator on the television series "How I Met Your Mother."

Vanessa Schwartz

Vanessa Schwartz (California Institute of Arts)

Schwartz received the Animation Gold Medal award for her film "The Janitor" in 1994. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Animated Short film that same year.

Joan L. Stein

Joan L. Stein (Columbia University)

Stein received the Narrative Gold Medal for her film "One Day Crossing" in 2000. The film went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Live Action Short film that same year.

Martin Strange-Hansen

Martin Strange-Hansen (National Film School of Denmark in Copenhagen)

Strange-Hansen received the Honorary Foreign Film award for his film "Feeding Desire." His film "This Charming Man (Der Er En Yndig Mand)" earned an Academy Award for Live Action Short film in 2002. Currently Strange-Hansen is working as a writer and director in Denmark.

Jan Sverák (Fakulta Filmova A Televizni [FAMU], Prague)

Sverák received the Honorary Foreign Film award in 1989 for his film "Ropáci (Oilgobblers)." He later directed the Czech Republic's Oscar-nominated "The Elementary School" and its Oscar-winning Foreign Language Film "Kolya." Most recently he starred in "Hlidac c.47."

Christian Taylor

Christian Taylor (New York University)

Taylor received the Dramatic Gold Medal for his film "The Lady in Waiting" in 1992. The film went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Live Action Short film that same year. Taylor has since written for several television shows, including "Six Feet Under," "Lost" and "New Amsterdam."

Mike van Diem (Nederlandse Film and Televisie Academie, Amsterdam)

Van Diem received the Honorary Foreign Film award in 1990 for his film "Alaska." He later directed The Netherlands' Oscar-winning Foreign Language Film "Karakter (Character)."

Jaco Van Dormael (Institut National Supérieur, Belgium)

Van Dormael received the Honorary Foreign Film award in 1981 for his film "Maedeli-La-Breche." He has since had an active writing and directing career abroad, including "Toto Le Heros" (1991) and "Mr. Nobody," which he wrote and directed.

Wendy Weinberg

Wendy L. Weinberg (Temple University)

Weinberg received the Documentary Gold Medal award for her film "Beyond Imagining: Margaret Anderson and the Little Review," which then earned an Oscar nomination for Documentary Short Subject in 1992. Weinberg is assistant professor of Film and Video at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Aaron Weisblatt

Aaron D. Weisblatt (New York University)

Weisblatt received a Documentary Merit award for his film "Sam" in 1986. The film went on to earn a nomination for Documentary Short Subject that same year. Weisblatt worked in the sound effects field on such films as "Batman & Robin," "Three Kings," and "National Lampoon's Van Wilder."  Currently, he lives in Woodstock, NY, where he produces and directs documentaries.

Robert Zemeckis

Robert Zemeckis (University of Southern California)

Zemeckis received a Dramatic Special Jury award for his film "A Field of Honor" in 1975. Zemeckis was nominated for Original Screenplay for "Back to the Future" in 1985 and won the Academy Award for Directing for "Forrest Gump" in 1994. His many credits include "Contact" (1997), "Cast Away" (2000), "The Polar Express" (2004) and "A Christmas Carol" (2009).

Kathy Zielinski (California Institute of the Arts)

Zielinski received the Animation Achievement award in 1982 for her film "Guess Who's for Dinner?" She later worked as a character animator on "The Little Mermaid," "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" and "Aladdin." Zielinski's other animation credits include "Pocahontas," "Shark Tale," "Over the Hedge," "Flushed Away" and "Bee Movie." She served as an animator on "Kung Fu Panda" (2008), "Monsters vs. Aliens" (2009) and "How to Train Your Dragon" (2010).

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