FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1998 REED GRADUATE WINS STUDENT ACADEMY AWARD
Thomas Burns, a 1998 graduate of Reed College, was one of eleven film students from eight U.S. universities who were honored June 9 as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 29th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. The winners participated in several days of industry-related activities and social events prior to the awards presentation ceremony at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Burns won a bronze medal in documentary for "Revolutions Per Minute," a film that explores the fate of vinyl records in the digital age. He graduated from Reed in 1998 as a history major, having written a senior thesis on the Russian Revolution. Shortly after that he began work at a grantmaking organization in the South Caucasus of the former Soviet Union. When that position ended, he began work in Tbilisi, Georgia, as writer and editor of the magazine Tbilisi Pastimes. He is currently in a graduate program in documentary film and video at Stanford University.
Following is the full list of this year’s winners:
Gold Medal: "For Our Man," Kazuo Ohno, Columbia University, New York
Silver Medal: "Island to Island," Soopum Sohn, New York University
Gold Medal: "Passing Moments," Don Phillips Jr., Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Silver Medal: "The Velvet Tigress," Jen Sachs, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Bronze Medal: "Shadowplay," Dan Blank, New York University
Gold Medal: "Moving House," Pin Pin Tan, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Silver Medal: "Family Values," Eva Saks, New York University
Bronze Medal: "Revolutions Per Minute," Thomas Burns, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
Gold Medal: "The Wormhole," Jessica Sharzer, New York University
Silver Medal: "Barrier Device," Grace Lee, University of California, Los Angeles
Bronze Medal: "Sophie," Helen Haeyoung Lee, University of Texas at Austin
Honorary Foreign Film
"Feeding Desire," Martin Strange-Hansen, National Film School of Denmark in Copenhagen
While the U.S.-based students knew they would each receive an award, the level of that award — gold, silver or bronze — was not revealed until the ceremony. Besides trophies, gold medal winners receive $5,000; silver medal winners are awarded $3,000 and bronze medal winners take home $2,000.
These students first competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region was permitted to send the Academy as many as three films in each of the four categories. The finalist films were then screened and voted on by Academy members to select the winners.
The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.