Young German filmmakers win Student Oscars | Film | DW | 14.09.2017
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Young German filmmakers win Student Oscars

The Student Academy Awards have praised two German directors and their movies about a terrorist attack in Kenya and illegal gold mining in Ghana. The prize has recognized talents such as Robert Zemeckis in the past.

The Student Oscar winners were revealed in Los Angeles Wednesday. The jury had received more than 1,500 entries from 356 international and US colleges and universities, the Academy said in the press release.

Read more: Germany sets Oscar hopes on neo-Nazi film starring Diane Kruger

Katja Benrath from Hamburg Media School won the Narrative category for her short movie "Watu Wote: All of Us." The filmmaker says the movie is a tribute to the 28 people killed by jihadist group Al-Shabab who attacked a Nairobi-bound bus in Mandera near the Kenya-Somali border in 2014.

It also tells the story of the Christian and Muslim communities in Kenya whose relationship is deteriorating due to growing fear and mistrust.

Johannes Preuss from the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg is also among the Student Oscars winners for his short documentary "Galamsey - For a Fistful of Gold" about illegal gold mining in Ghana.

The first-person narrative tackles topics such as mercury pollution, poverty, exploitation, and corruption in the country, and mixes journalism with 3D animation.

The 28-minute-long movie is currently being shown at the Green Screen Festival in Eckernförde in northern Germany through September 17.

Awards presented in LA

The winners of the Student Oscars will receive their prizes during a ceremony in Los Angeles on October 12.

The student version of the Academy Awards was established in 1972 to "provide a platform for emerging global talent." Students can compete in four domestic and three international categories, and all winners are eligible to compete for "regular" Oscars in their respective categories. 

Last year, young German filmmakers were also top winners at the Student Oscars. Watch the video below for more. Prominent past winners include now-famous directors such as Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump") andSpike Lee ("Do the Right Thing").

jt/kbm (with dpa)

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