(Los Angeles, California--March 4, 2014) When "HELIUM," the story of a terminally ill boy who finds joy in a fantasy world created by an eccentric hospital janitor, won the Oscar® for Best Live Action Short Film at last night's Academy Awards® ceremony, it extended a long winning streak of excellence by graduates of the American Film Institute Conservatory. Kim Magnusson (AFI Class of 1991) produced the film, one of three nominated projects that had AFI alumni participation. Since 1974, AFI Conservatory graduates have received an astonishing total of 133 nominations and 27 gold statuettes. In addition, a number of marble Student Academy Awards for AFI thesis projects are on display in the Louis B. Mayer Library on AFI's Hollywood campus.
For Magnusson, known for his work on ADAM'S APPLES (2005), EVIL (2003) and FLICKERING LIGHTS (2000), the Oscar® marked his second win and fifth Academy Award® nomination. "This is for you, mom," he said in his acceptance speech. In addition to HELIUM, AMERICAN HUSTLE, edited by Jay Cassidy (AFI Class of 1976), and Documentary Short Subject Film CAVEDIGGER, produced and directed by Jeffrey Karoff (AFI Class of 1993), received Academy Award® nominations this year.
About the AFI Conservatory
AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. AFI Conservatory's alumni are consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards – Academy® Awards, Emmy® Awards, Guild Awards – and even the Tony Award. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks is the Artistic Director to the AFI Conservatory. Sony is a proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory.