An animated short, "Shadow of a Drought," from the University of California, Santa Barbara has been given the thumbs up by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of 12 winners in its 26th annual Student Academy Awards competition.
UCSB undergraduate students Daniel Kutner and Brian Emerson will be vying for the gold, silver or bronze medal along with animation entries from the California Institute of the Arts and New York University at the June 13 award presentation in Los Angeles.
UCSB was one of three national finalists in the documentary category with "Portraits" by Ivan Oyco and Jesse Baldwin. The University of Oklahoma and North Carolina School of the Arts were the other two, with only the latter named as winner.
Although the number of production classes available at UCSB is limited due to the department's critical studies emphasis, many of the
student filmmakers have garnered acclaim at international film festivals, including Cannes.
"It doesn't matter, because in the end it's how well you tell the story," said Kutner, who produced his film as part of a 16-mm crew production class in six months.