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June 22, 2010

CCNY Grad Takes Silver at Academy Award Ceremony

 Maria Royo

Maria Royo's MFA thesis project, "Rediscovering Pape," won a silver medal at the Student Oscars in Beverly Hills, June 12.

“Rediscovering Pape,” the MFA thesis film by City College of New York (CCNY) alumna Maria Royo, ’09, won a silver medal at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 37th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony June 12 in Beverly Hills. The medal came with a $3,000 prize.

The 25-minute film competed in the documentary category, and is the third CCNY student production to earn a silver medal at the student Oscars since 2006. Previous winners were “6 a.m.” by Carmen Vidal Balanzat (2006) and Jeremy Joffee’s “The Bronx Balletomane” (2009).

In “Rediscovering Pape,” Ms. Royo, who attended CCNY on a Fulbright Scholarship, documents her heartfelt attempt to reconcile memories of a close childhood relationship with her great-grandfather, who, she learned, had a Nazi past. She travels through Europe to trace his footsteps, break her family’s silence and discover the true nature of complicated choices.

Edited by Ms. Royo’s classmate Za Martohardjono, the film has received several honors including Best Documentary at the 31st College Television Awards (student Emmys) last April. It also won first prize at the Citivisions and CUFF festivals, which showcase student work at City College and CUNY, respectively.

The film has been shown at the Camerimage in Poland, Documenta Madrid, Seville Film Fest, the Women’s International Film Festival in Miami, Bombshell in New York and East River Market in the Czech Republic.

Born in Seville, Spain, Ms. Royo earned a BA in audiovisual communications from the University of Seville in 2005 before coming to CCNY. She has worked on several documentary and feature film projects and as an editor for Bloomberg Television and Doblediez TV.

About The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.