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Oscar-silver to graduation film!

Class of 12's graduation film "Revisited" received a Student Academy Award last night. Director Iain Forbes and almost the entire team entered the stage to receive the silver award during the ceremony in LA.

Director and screenwriter Iain Forbes opened his acceptance speech with an anecdote from the shoot of "Revisited" almost two years ago that made the room giggle: "During our shoot in the dark of Winter, in a freezing cold house built in the 19th Century, who would have imagined we would be reunited here, in sunny LA".

Nearly the entire team accompanied Iain to Los Angeles, and yesterday they were finally able to enter the stage at The Samuel Goldwyn Theater and receive the award for their graduation film. The team present at the seremony included Director Iain Forbes, Producer Tøri Gjendal, Cinematographer Karoline Sødal Sellæg, Production Designer Brynhild Dagslott, Editor Natascha Ramlow Lerche-Jensen, Sound Designer Marthe Straum Lie, and VFX Artist Richard Viken Klausmark.

The 13 winners who received their awards last night were selected from 2,443 submissions from 720 film schools and universities worldwide. Previous winners include prominent names like Spike Lee and Robert Zemeckis. "Revisited" was one of three winners in the "Narrative" category, and all the winners are now eligible to compete for the Best Short Film category at the main Oscars ceremony in February.

Thanking the team

During the ceremony, which was streamed live at 4:30 AM Norwegian time, the director expressed his gratitude to his family and friends, the teachers, staff, and fellow students at the film school, and other collaborators. First and foremost, however, he praised his team:

"I want to thank DOP, Karoline Sødal Sellæg for constantly chasing excellence, and achieving it again and again. Production designer Brynhild Dagslott for creating a living, breathing space which inspired the story at every turn. Editor Narascha Ramlow Lerche-Jensen for a critical loving eye, who never lost sight of what mattered most. Sound designer Marthe Straum Lie for weaving the atmospheres of grief and unease into a harmony. VFX Richard Viken Klausmark for masterfully crafting the images needed for our climax. Producer Tøri Gjendal, a uniting force of nature to whom this film owes every frame of its being. And to those not here tonight, co-writer Lina Csillag, composer Martin Olsen and rest of the outstanding cast and crew."

"Cinema is at its most beautiful when it connects with us emotionally"

In his acceptance speech, Iain described "Revisited" as a story about family and grief but, more importantly, about love.

In the film, Tyra (portrayed by Thea Sofie Loch Næss) returns to visit her family, on the 20th anniversary of her beloved father’s death. Everything changes when her Dad comes knocking on the door that same evening - forcing the family to examine what grief has done to them.

The graduation film was inspired by Iain's own experiences with grief.

"The starting point for the story was very personal, as the film is about my reflections on the grief I have for my father, who passed away when I was 13, and how grief affects family relationships," the director stated in an earlier interview with the Film School.

During the award ceremony, he concluded by reminding us how film can bring us closer together:

-For me, cinema is at its most beautiful when it connects with us emotionally. It is a reminder of how alike we really are. We will do well to remember this.

Open doors

Being an Oscar winner opens new doors. The director reports from LA that The Academy has organized an intensive program for all Oscar winners, with dinners, meetings, screenings, and experiences to introduce them to the industry.

-As a Student Oscar winner, I get a mentor from The Academy for eight months. I've met the producers of some of the biggest American films. They say they want us winners to always feel welcome and that we are now part of Oscar's history. So, you can tell that this means much more than just an award; we also receive goodwill within the American film industry."

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Still from "Revisited" (Photo: Karoline Sødal Sellægg)

The Norwegian Film School congratulates Iain and the entire team and looks forward to following their future endeavors!

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Still from "Revisited" (Photo: Karoline Sødal Sellægg)

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