While the Oscars were widely accused of being too white, they're also often said to be too US-centric. That is now changing - at least in the student version of the coveted film award.
As the Student Oscars competition was officially launched Monday (28.03.2016), the Academy announced it would be expanding its Foreign Film category. Instead of just one section, it would include three: Narrative, Animation and Documentary.
While gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in the Narrative section, only gold will be presented in the Animation and Documentary categories.
The increased interest in international film opens up doors for young filmmakers all over the world. German cinema students are particularly hopeful: Gold, silver and bronze in the Foreign Film category all went to German entries last year.
In 2015, Ilker Catake took gold for "Fidelity," silver went to Dustin Loose for "Erledigung einer Sache," and Patrick Vollrath's "Alles wird gut" won bronze.
The categories for domestic US films are to remain the same.
The competition, now in its 43rd year, is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students and is considered to provide a major career boost in the film industry. Previous winners have gone on to make it big in Hollywood, including Pete Docter, Cary Fukunaga, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, Trey Parker and Robert Zemeckis.
Entries may be submitted until June 1 and the Student Oscars will be presented in Los Angeles on September 22.
kbm/ss (with dpa)