Taiwanese film wins gold at 42nd Student Academy Awards

By Rachel Lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 5

A Taiwanese-American animated short film titled Soar was awarded the gold medal in the animation category at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2015 Student Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Thursday last week.

Directed by Alyce Tzue (祖小雲) — a Taiwanese-American student at the Academy of Arts University — and produced by her Taiwanese classmate Anson Yu (尤偉正), Soar is the second Taiwanese-made film to win gold at the Student Academy Awards after Hung Shih-ting’s (洪詩婷) 2008 short Viola: The Traveling Rooms of a Little Giant.

Yu said Soar is about dogged perseverance that yields surprising rewards.

He said the film starts with a girl who discovers a tiny alien pilot who has crashed on Earth. Through trial and error, the girl helps the pilot make a new miniature flying machine. The girl discovers that the tiny pilot belongs to a race that ferries stars into the sky and she goes on to experience the wonders of the universe.

Yu was an undergraduate at Ming Chuan University before moving to California to attend the Academy of Arts, from which he received a Master of Arts degree.

He said the Student Academy Awards are a highly prestigious competition for film students, adding that the academy first informed him that Soar was a finalist in June and then told him in August that it would win gold.

“I am extremely excited and pleased” about the award, Yu said, adding that he tried hard to “keep a normal mindset” because “it is more important to do your job right.”

The 42nd Student Academy Awards received submissions from 282 US and 93 non-US universities in five categories: Alternative, Animation, Documentary, Narrative and Foreign Film. Gold, silver and bronze medals were given to the best entries.