RTF alumnus named finalist for two Student Academy Awards

AUSTIN, Texas—Scott Rice, a 2003 Master of Fine Arts alumnus and lecturer in the Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named a finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 31st annual Student Academy Awards competition.

Two previous Department of Radio-Television-Film graduates won Student Academy Awards in 2002 and 2003.

Rice is the first student to reach the finals in two categories in the same year. His pre-thesis project, “The Adventures of Mad Matt,” is a finalist in the documentary category, while his thesis film, “Perils in Nude Modeling,” is a finalist in the narrative category.

An award-winning filmmaker, Rice has written, produced and directed more than 20 short films and videos. After studying film theory and analysis under world-renowned film scholar David Bordwell, Rice worked as an art director for an entertainment software company before entering graduate film school at The University of Texas at Austin.

Scores of international film festivals and showcases have featured his work, including HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Slamdance, New York Comedy Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Short Shorts (Japan), Aspen Shortsfest and the Texas Filmmakers Showcase. His short film, “Pillowfight,” can be seen on Showtime. Rice teaches a broadcast and film writing class in the Department of Radio-Television-Film and is working on his first book, “Small Stories, Big Ideas: Demystifying the Short Film.”

Rice is among 29 students whose films will be screened for and judged by Academy members in order to select the winners. Gold, silver and bronze medals, along with accompanying cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, may be awarded in each of the four categories. Winning filmmakers will participate in a week of industry-related and social activities, culminating in the presentation ceremony on June 13.

To reach this stage, students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalist films in each of the four categories. An honorary foreign film student will also be honored by the Academy. Five students from Denmark, Germany, Russia and Switzerland have been named as finalists.

The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.

For more information contact: Erin Geisler, College of Communication, 512-475-8071.