Anderson, Indiana

Film edited by AU alum snags Student Academy Award

Tue, 2009-06-16 09:48 -- univcomm
June 16, 2009

A short film edited by Anderson University alum Chris Witt, BA 2003, recently received a gold medal prize in the 36th annual Student Academy Awards for "Kavi," a short film about an Indian boy forced to work. "Kavi" was directed by Gregg Helvey of the University of Southern California as his USC graduate thesis film. The film is qualified for the 2010 Academy Awards - Short Film Competition.

Film edited by AU alum snags Student Academy Award

Shot entirely on location in India, "Kavi" is a fictional short film about modern-day slavery that follows a young boy's attempt to escape from the brick kiln where he is forced to work. "Kavi" was an official selection in the Nashville Film Festival; Audience Award: Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles; and Best Short Film+Grand Jury Prize: USA Film Festival.

"I’m not only thrilled about the accolades 'Kavi' is already receiving, but am also hopeful that this will also raise the awareness of human trafficking as a social issue that needs addressed in the world," said Chris Witt. "Hopefully for Kavi, the recognition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will only further our message of human rights and hope for all people by raising awareness of bonded labor across the globe. We’re hoping the film will go on to wider audiences including acceptance into the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis this.fall."

To view a trailer, visit:

View the film web site at:

Established in 1972, the Student Academy Awards are intended to support young filmmakers. Past winners include Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter and Trey Parker. The awards were presented during a ceremony at Samuel Goldwyn Theater by “The Dark Knight” actor Gary Oldman, “Blues Brothers” and “Coming to America” director John Landis, “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast” animator Andreas Deja and producer and academy first vice president Robert Rehme.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.