Clara Roquet Wins BAFTA US Student Film Award

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29-Jun-16
Recent graduate Clara Roquet ’16 won the 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Award for her short film El Adiós, which she wrote and directed as part of her MFA coursework at the Columbia University Film Program. Hers was one of eight films in competition for the award, which is awarded to the best student short film produced in the United States; two other Columbia films were nominated: Pitter Patter Goes My Heart, written and directed by Christoph Rainer ’15, and Stay Awake, written and directed by Jamie Sisley ’15.

El Adiós follows a Bolivian maid as she prepares for the funeral of the matriarch of the wealthy Spanish family for whom she works. The 15-minute short premiered at the Columbia University Film Festival, where Roquet received the Best Director Award. The film also received the SimonSays Award for Innovative Filmmaking and a National Board of Review Student Grant Award.

The eight finalists for the award were selected from 245 films submitted by 56 schools across the country. The prize was awarded by a jury that included Academy Award–winning director Pete Docter, Academy Award–winning editor William Goldenberg, director Yann Demange, STX Entertainment President Sophie Watts, The Hollywood Reporter film critic and editor Jon Frosch, and actress Ashley Madekwe. This marked the 13th year of the BAFTA US Student Film Award.

Prior to attending Columbia, Roquet co-wrote the feature film 10.000KM with director Carlos Marques-Marcet; they received a Gaudí Award for Best Screenplay for the film, which screened at numerous prestigious film festivals and was shortlisted as one of the three candidates to represent Spain at the 2015 Academy Awards. Her previous screenplay, S.L. Familia, won a Special Prize from the jury of the VIII SGAE Julio Alejandro Screenwriting Award. Roquet recently co-wrote the short film Submarine, directed by current student Mounia Akl, which screened at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was chosen for Faculty Selects at this year’s Columbia University FIlm Festival.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.