Columbia College Chicago student Wonjung Bae won the gold medal in the Documentary category at the 38th Student Academy Awards for her film Vera Klement: Blunt Edge. Bae is a thesis-level MFA candidate in the Film & Video graduate program, and plans to complete her thesis film by the end of 2011.
The film is an 11-minute biographical documentary on prolific Chicago-based painter Vera Klement. Deeply influenced by abstract expressionism, classical music and her experiences as a Holocaust survivor, Klement’s work depicts isolated and alienated objects. The film also won a 2010 Directors Guild Student Film award in the Eastern region, woman’s category.
The Student Academy Awards ceremony, held June 11, 2011 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, was the culmination of a week of industry events the Academy arranged for student finalists. The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 43 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards, according to the Academy.
Only fifteen students from the United States and around the world were honored as winners. Presenters included actress Jennifer Garner, Oscar-nominated animator John Musker, Oscar-winning producer Edward Zwick and Academy President Tom Sherak.