Two films by Czech students from the department of animation at FAMU fought their way into the semifinal of the Student Academy Awards known as the Student Oscar. One is Daria Kashcheeva’s drama Daughter and the other Martin Smatana’s children’s puppet film The Kite. It is historically the first time FAMU has two films on the shortlist in this prestigious film competition, moreover both in the same category.

81 candidates in four categories – live action film, documentary, animated film and alternative film – got onto the Student Academy Awards shortlist. The first three categories have awards for both domestic USA student films as well as international films. The alternative film awards are only awarded to american student films. In the international animated film category, in which FAMU has two films, about six films usually make it to the semifinal. That means that the students of the Prague FAMU have a decent chance to get to the final where the winner will be picked from three films. The Academy will anounce the finalists between August and September.

The puppet drama Daughter, which is inspired by the films of both Lars von Trier’s and the Dardenn brothers, had its world premiere this year in June at the festival in Annecy where the director won the main award for the best student film. With regard to the film’s unique art form (trying to realistically emulate a handheld moving camera) it is not only drawing the interest of animated film festivals, where it has already been accepted, but also of the biggest film festivals. For example Daughter will soon be going to Australia to take part in the competition at the International Film Festival in Melbourne as well as the Toronto International Film Festival.