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Taiwanese students Alyce Tzue and Anson Yu have won the Gold Medal for Animation in the 42nd Student Academy Awards with their 3D short animation, “Soar." The film has also won Best Student Animation at Palm Springs, First in the Animated Short Film Program at the USA Film Festival and other major awards. This is the first time a Taiwanese student has won a Student Academy Award since 2008.

Taiwan People News reports, there are five categories in the Student Academy Awards, including Animation, Documentary, Narrative, Alternative and Foreign Film. Students from 282 universities all over the US and from 93 universities in other countries applied for the award.

“Soar" is a 6-minute 3D short animation that talks about a little girl refusing to give up despite multiple failures and finally succeeds in helping a tiny pilot return to the sky.

Variety reports, Tzue says that the idea for the animation came from the fascination that she has always had with the fact that as we grow older we, in a way, stop asking these incessant questions about the world around us, like why is the sky blue? What are clouds? Of course, naturally we learn that cloud are gaseous bodies of water vapor in the sky instead of cotton balls that someone stuck up there. So she made the film as a twist on an explanation for natural phenomena that we as adults sort of take for granted.

CNA reports, Yu says it means a lot to win the Student Academy Award since it can be said to be the most important of all student film awards.

Looking back on the Taiwanese 2008 Student Academy Award Winner, “Viola."

“Viola: The Traveling Rooms of a Little Giant" directed by Hung Shih-Ting won Gold Medal for Alternative in the 2008 Student Academy Awards. Up to now, “Viola" has screened in more than 100 international film festivals, won more than a dozen awards and nearly 20 nominations, including the 15th Pusan International Film Festival, the 32nd Taiwan Golden Harvest Awards and the 12th Taipei Film Festival. It was also selected out of 23,000 works to screen in Youtube Play at the Guggenheim Museum.

Translated by Olivia Yang