Czech Filmmaker Wins Student Oscar

Czech Filmmaker Wins Student Oscar

For the first time since 1989 and only second time ever, a Czech filmmaker has won a Student Oscar.

Marie Dvořáková, a graduate of Prague film academy FAMU who went on to study at the NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, was announced as the recipient of a 2017 Student Academy Award last week for her film Who’s Who in Mycology (Kdo je kdo v mykologii) in the category of Narrative Short.

Despite the title, the film follows a trombone player over the course of an evening. Description from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where the film screened earlier this year

“A young trombone player spends an adventurous night trying to open an impossible bottle of wine. A girl who’s fast asleep, a crooked bookcase, and some mold get in the way, turning his world upside down. When the night is over he is forced to perform the ultimate act of courage.”

Dvořáková has become only the second Czech student to receive the accolade. Only one other Czech filmmaker has won a Student Oscar: Jan Svěrák, whose short film Ropáci (Oil Gobblers) was honored back in 1988. 

Svěrák, of course, went on to win a “real” Oscar eight years later when his film Kolya picked up Best Foreign Language Film at the 1996 Academy Awards. 

Past Czech nominees for Student Academy Awards include Miloš Zábranský (1982’s Horečka všedního dne), Aurel Klimt (1998’s Bloodthirsty Hugo, an Eastern), Václav Švankmajer (1999’s Test) and Ondřej Hudeček for last year’s acclaimed Peacock, which was also awarded at the 2016 Sundance film festival.

Dvořáková’s film was one of only 17 honored across 7 categories at this year’s Student Academy Awards, in which 1,587 films from 356 colleges and universities in 90 countries around the world competed for accolades.

Winners of Student Oscars are eligible for 2017 Oscars in the categories of Live Action Short or Animated Short; past winners have scored 57 nominations and 11 wins at the proper Academy Awards.

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to celebrate achievements in student filmmaking and highlight young filmmakers on the rise. 

Past winners of Student Oscars that had gone on to acclaim include Robert Zemeckis, Spike Lee, Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), Trey Parker (South Park), and John Lasseter (Toy Story).

Dvořáková will be awarded in person for her film at the 44th annual Student Academy Awards, which will take place on October 12 in Beverly Hills.

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