How To Apply
Thank you for your interest in the Student Academy Awards. The application portal for the 2015 competition is not yet live. The competition will officially open on March 2nd. This year’s deadline for all submissions will be June 1.
Student Academy Awards Mission
The Student Academy Awards (SAA) recognizes and honors student filmmakers who demonstrate excellence in the creation of motion pictures. By awarding these outstanding achievements, the Academy strives to support and inspire emerging filmmakers and to foster growth and education in the art and science of motion pictures.
Student Academy Awards Rules
a. The student filmmaker must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-granting program at a college or university recognized by the SAA Executive Committee as indicated by the “Student Academy Awards School Eligibility” criteria.
b. Entries must have been made in a teacher-student relationship within the curricular structure of the teaching institution.
c. Entries must be submitted no later than one year from the date of graduation and include the student’s faculty adviser’s endorsement.
d. Entries must be motion picture works that have been completed and submitted between April 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015 (Eligibility Period).
e. Entry content may not be altered once submitted for Student Academy Award consideration. (Do not submit work in progress.)
f. Entries must be submitted online through the designated SAA submission portal on or before close of business on the last day of the above defined Eligibility Period.
g. Advertising films, promotional films, and films made as works for hire are not eligible.
h. Entries submitted for the Academy Awards competition (regardless of the outcome) are not eligible for entry into any subsequent SAA competition.
i. No entry may be longer than 40 minutes including opening and closing credits.
j. All entries submitted must be in English, subtitled in English, or dubbed in English.
2. Entry Procedures
a. Entry forms and films must be submitted digitally using the designated submission platform. Filmmakers should contact the Academy office if any issues prevent digital submission.
b. Entry forms must list the single director or person most responsible for the creative production of the submission. Shared credits will be allowed for no more than two students if the responsibility is shared. If there are any credit discrepancies or controversies, the Academy will insist that credits be settled before the submission may be considered for an award. The final determination for credits in any event shall be made by the SAA Executive Committee. The Academy shall not be bound by any contract or agreement relating to the sharing or giving of credit, and reserves the right to make its own determination of credit for purposes of SAA consideration.
c. Entry forms must include an acknowledgement that Student has read and agrees to the Student Academy Awards rules. A faculty adviser from the Student’s school is required for all submissions, and the form must include the adviser’s correct name and contact information.
d. Domestic entries must be submitted to one (and only one) of the SAA Submission Categories. Foreign entries should be submitted to the Foreign category, but must be first selected by the student filmmaker’s school for submission to the SAA. Only schools that are recognized non-U.S. members of CILECT can participate in the Foreign category and each school is allowed only one entry. Failure to apply in the correct category could result in disqualification.
e. Entries that advance to the semifinal round of judging must be provided in an approved format as defined by the “Student Academy Awards Approved Formats.” Filmmakers will have at least one week to provide the copy to the Academy.
f. Upon request submitted with the entry form, any hard media provided (with the exception of DVD) will be returned to the entrant within 30 days of the the conclusion of the competition.
g. The Academy is not responsible for late, misdirected, missing, or damaged entries.
h. Failure to adhere to the entry requirements within the Eligibility Period will result in disqualification.
3. Judging Procedures
a. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal Awards (which include cash grants of $5000, $3000 and $2000, respectively and a trip to Los Angeles for the SAA Week) may be given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of outstanding achievements in student filmmaking in each category.
b. The entries shall be judged on the basis of resourcefulness, originality, entertainment, and production quality, without regard to cost of production or subject matter.
c. Upon submission, entries shall be verified for eligibility and category.
d. All stages of judging, including Preliminary, Semifinal, and Final rounds, shall be overseen by the members of the Academy. The Academy may designate additional non-member judges as required at the sole discretion of the SAA Executive Committee.
e. Preliminary entries will be judged via their online digital submission. At this stage, the Academy has the option to re-categorize the entry into a more suitable category. Filmmakers will be notified of advancement to the semifinals within the week of July 1, 2015.
f. Semifinalist entries shall be judged theatrically by only members of the Academy. Filmmakers will be notified of advancement to the finals within the week of August 7, 2015.
g. Finalist entries shall be judged theatrically by only members of the Academy to be completed by August 17, 2015. Final ballots shall be tabulated by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers and filmmakers in each category shall be notified promptly.
h. Presentation of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Award winners in each category will be made at the Student Academy Awards Ceremony on September 18, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California.
a. Student Academy Awards winning films are eligible for entry into the following year's Academy Awards competition, provided the films satisfy all criteria for the Academy Award category for which they are entered.
b. If the eligibility and/or category of any entry is questioned, the Academy reserves the right to make a determination as the SAA Executive Committee may deem appropriate at its discretion.
c. The Academy reserves the right to amend or modify any procedure, process, or rule, as may be considered necessary by the SAA Executive Committee for the proper conduct of the Student Academy Awards or to adhere to any standards set forth by the Academy.
d. The decisions of the Academy regarding any matter regarding the SAA shall be final and binding in all respects.
1. Domestic (U.S. based) accredited by one of the following agencies:
a. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
b. New England Association of Schools and colleges
c. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
d. Northwest Accreditation Commission on Colleges and Universities
e. Western Association of Schools and Colleges
f. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
2. Foreign Schools (Non-U.S. based) must be a member of CILECT
1. Domestic Categories
a. ANIMATION - Animated films may present an original narrative story, an existing story or fable, or an exploration of a mood or thought. Either comical or serious, they usually fall into one of two general fields -- character animation or abstract animation. Various techniques include cel animation, computer animation, clay animation, stop-motion, pixilation, cut-out pins, camera multiple-pass imagery, kaleidoscope effects, and drawing on the film frame itself. Winning Animation films are chosen by judging the product as a whole, as well as the artistic and technical skill of the filmmaker in whatever motif or animation technique the student has chosen.
b. DOCUMENTARY - Documentary films are nonfiction visual essays that seek to present historical subjects, current social or political issues, or specific human experiences in such a way as to have a dramatic impact upon the viewing audience. Documentaries may be filmed in the cinéma vérité style where camera and microphone merely record the event without injecting the comments or subjective conclusions of the filmmaker, or may be a reenactment. In the latter case, the distinction between dramatic and documentary film lies in the fact that while dramatic film is fictional, documentary film deals with factual situations and circumstances. Winning films in this category are chosen on the basis of artistic technique, as well as the ability of the documentarian to fashion reality into a film essay which leaves the audience better informed and/or moved.
c. NARRATIVE - Narrative films strive to portray life, a character or a narrative story much the same way a novel does, but within the context of an audiovisual medium. Past narrative films by students have included, but were not limited to, dramas, comedies, musicals, and many other story oriented genres. Winning entries in this and all other categories reflect the merit of the film when viewed as a whole, as well as the professional execution of its component parts, such as script, dialogue, direction, cinematography, lighting, acting, editing and scoring. Narrative category films may be adaptations of existing pieces of literature or original stories written by the student filmmaker.
d. ALTERNATIVE - Films submitted in this category must not be candidates for any other category. Alternative films extend traditional cinematic boundaries and conventions of expression. These films employ progressive aesthetic and/or technical elements. These films convey a reinterpretation of traditional structural components such as story, imagery, words, time, space, motion, sound, light and color. These films often expand the language of cinema. This category is not meant to be a “catch all” category for films that lack structure and/or craftsmanship. The Academy strictly evaluates if films submitted in this category are appropriately Alternative.
2. Foreign Category
Submissions to the foreign category can be from any of the categories listed in the Domestic Category. However, submission are limited to one per eligible school.
Approved formats include:
a. HD quality digital file (min. resolution of 1920x1080): Quicktime (Pro Res 422. Pro Res 4444), AVI, H.264
i. Aspect Ratio: 1.78, 1.85, 2.39
ii. Soundtrack: 2 Channel Stereo PCM, 5.1 (6) Channel PCM
i. Gauge: 16mm (optical only), 35mm
ii. Aspect Ratio: 1.33, 1.85, 2.35
iii. Soundtrack: Optical, Magnetic
iv. Films with a separate magnetic sound track will not be accepted.
If you have any questions please contact Shawn Guthrie in the Student Academy Awards office at 310-247-3031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.