UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

MFA Student Competes for Student Academy Award

Debra Sea’s experimental film “balance” is short – clocking in at less than four minutes – but that hasn’t kept it from catching the attention of the Academy. Yes, that Academy.

Sea’s film is a finalist for a Student Academy Award in the alternative category. An annual, national competition conducted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Foundation, the Student Academy Award seeks to find and recognize talented young filmmakers. Award notifications will be made in mid May; winners will receive their awards at a June 12 ceremony at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

Sea, a native of Bemidji, Minn., and an MFA student in film, has had other notable success with her film. It has been screened at 11 film festivals, including the Big Muddy and Cucalorus film festivals. The film won third place in the UNCG Sustainability Film Series and Best Experimental Film at the Reynolda Film Festival. A reviewer from the Ann Arbor Film Festival described the film as “vibrant and decidedly original.”

Shot with a simple Flip MinoHD camera attached to her bike, the film follows the path of Sea’s bike tire as it transitions across a variety of landscapes and terrains.

The response to the film, her first as a graduate student, has taken Sea by surprise. “It was such a fun film to make,” she said. “It combined two things I love – new technology and riding my bike. Even after seeing it for what feels like a million times, it still makes me smile every time I watch it. I am glad it makes other people smile, too.”