AFI CONSERVATORY DOMINATES
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM OSCAR® SHORTLIST
17 AFI Alums Among the Honorees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, November 19, 2015 — The American Film Institute is proud to announce that three films from AFI Conservatory alumni are among the 10 films shortlisted for the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar®. Of the 10 shortlisted titles, the AFI Conservatory is represented more than any other film school, with Conservatory thesis film DAY ONE, written and directed by Henry Hughes (AFI Class of 2014); CONTRAPELO (AGAINST THE GRAIN), directed by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (AFI Class of 2013); and WINTER LIGHT, directed by Julian Higgins (AFI Class of 2010 and 2011 Student Academy Award gold medal winner).
The 10 shortlisted films in the Best Live Action Short category were chosen from a total of 140 qualifying films. The Short Films Branch members will now pick five nominees from the 10 titles. The 88th Academy Awards® nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles, with the awards ceremony taking place Sunday, February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Earlier this year, DAY ONE took the top prize — the gold medal — at the 2015 Student Academy Awards. DAY ONE’s credits include the following AFI Class of 2014 alumni: director/writer Hughes, producer Michael Steiner, cinematographer Kee Sun Kyung, editor Anisha Acharya and production designer Benjamin Cox. The film also earned director Hughes and producer Steiner the Directing award and the Drama award respectively at the 36th College Television Awards in April. Hughes also won the 2015 BAFTA U.S. Student Film Award.
In total, 17 Conservatory alumni are credited across the films in this year’s Best Live Action Short Film Oscar® shortlist. CONTRAPELO (AGAINST THE GRAIN)’s credits feature these AFI Conservatory alumni: director Dunnet-Alcocer, producers Molo Alcocer (AFI Class of 2013) and Pin-Chun Liu (AFI Class of 2013), screenwriter Liska OstojiÄ‡ (AFI Class of 2013), cinematographer Carolina Costa (AFI Class of 2013), editor Oliver Harwood (AFI Class of 2013) and production designer Aashrita Kamath (AFI Class of 2013). WINTER LIGHT’s Conservatory alumni credits are: director Higgins, screenwriter Wei-Ning Yu (AFI Class of 2010), cinematographer Andrew Wheeler (AFI Class of 2010), production designer Erika Ann Walters (AFI Class of 2010) and art director Benjamin Ralston (AFI Class of 2012).
This year, AFI won more Student Academy Awards than any other film school, making a historic sweep of the Narrative category that also included the silver medal winner Jeremy Cloe (AFI Class of 2014) for THIS WAY UP and bronze medal recipient Bennett Lasseter (AFI Class of 2014) for STEALTH. Also Student Academy Award-nominated this year was AGAINST NIGHT, directed by Stefan Kubicki (AFI Class of 2014). These four short films were recently showcased at AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi.
The winning streak by AFI Conservatory graduates includes: placement on the Best Animated Feature Oscar® shortlist; a News and Documentary Emmy Award®; two wins at the 67th Emmy Awards®; the FIPRESCI and Best Canadian Feature prizes at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival; the gold, silver and bronze medals in the Narrative category at the 2015 Student Academy Awards; the 72nd Venice International Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize; the 2015 BAFTA U.S. Student Film Award; the 2015 Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation First Prize; five wins at the 36th College Television Awards; and two wins at the 2014 DGA Student Film Awards.
About the AFI Conservatory
AFI Fellows make four to 10 films during their training. Graduates of the Conservatory are part of an elite group of 4,845 alumni — with 81% of AFI alumni working in the field according to a recent survey. Artists from the Conservatory have received a total of 133 Academy Award® nominations and 27 wins. Throughout the completed 2014-2015 academic year, AFI alumni have been nominated for 202 awards by 38 major guilds, academies and other professional associations — with 72 award wins.
The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Within the Conservatory is also a unique training program, the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). AFI Conservatory’s alumni have been consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards — Academy Awards®, Emmy Awards®, guild awards — as well as the Tony Awards®. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks serves as Artistic Director of the AFI Conservatory where he provides creative leadership for the elite film program. Proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory is American Airlines, the official airline of AFI and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.