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'For Our Man' Wins Student Academy Award; Short Film About the Writing Process

By Kristin Sterling

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Alexander Payne awards Kazuo Ohno the gold medal.
Photo courtesy of A.M.P.A.S.

Kazuo Ohno (SOA '02) has won the Gold Medal for best film in the alternative category at the 29th Annual Student Academy Awards for his short film "For Our Man." Ohno is the fifth Columbia filmmaker to win a Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards in the last six years.

"For Our Man" is about an older writer who is trying to come up with a story, but who takes a lot of wrong turns along the way. Viewers see into the writer's head as his memories intrude on his writing.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Alexander Payne gave Ohno a trophy, gold medal and $5,000 during the Student Academy Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills on June 9.

The Awards were established in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past winners include Spike Lee, and Oscar winners John Lasseter and Robert Zemeckis.

"Kaz's film dazzles the eye with the beauty of its images and the perfection of its rhythms," said Dan Kleinman, chair of the Film Division in Columbia's School of the Arts. "The story, in addition to being compelling and funny, is so full of unexpected delights that in many places it simply takes one's breath away."

Earlier this year "For Our Man" won best narrative short at the South by Southwest Film Festival and Best of Festival at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Ohno won the New Line Cinema Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking during the 2002 Columbia University Film Festival, where the film was screened as part of the "Faculty Selects" program.

As a 2002 graduate of Columbia's MFA program in film, Ohno joins a growing list of successful alumni, including: director-writer Kimberly Peirce and writer Andrew Bienen ("Boys Don't Cry"), director James Mangold ("Kate and Leopold" and "Girl, Interrupted"), producer Jeffrey Sharp ("You Can Count on Me") and writer/director Lisa Cholodenko ("High Art" and "Laurel Canyon").

Published: Jul 01, 2002
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

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