Chinese student wins gold medal at Student Academy Awards

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A Chinese student from the University of Southern California (USC) won one of gold medals at the 45th Student Academy Awards on Thursday night.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored its student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the Awards ceremony, held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, U.S. California.

The Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards were announced and presented by documentarian Arthur Dong, actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani and directors Catherine Hardwicke and Patricia Riggen.

Tong Hua, graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts, won the top honor in the narrative category for "Spring Flower."

Directed by Tong, the film follows a rural Chinese girl Chun Hua who is forced by her family to marry a man she's never met before but determined to change her life to be the master of her own destiny after being influenced by her cousin, a modern city girl.

"I'm proud to win the gold medal at the Student Academy Awards as a Chinese overseas student," said Tong, adding that she wanted to present more voices of women in her film.

"I hope to show Chinese culture and the development of modern China to international audience through my works," she told Xinhua.

Two other students of Chinese origin from USC also shine bright at the Awards.

Li Yiying won silver medal in the documentary category for "Love and Loss." It records the life of two surprisingly strong women: Karen Crespo and Nicole Evans. Both women are physically disabled.

"Those two amazing women I filmed really showed me the meaning of strength, perseverance ... and love," Li told Xinhua.

Yu Yu won silver in the animation category for "Daisy", about a young girl who is being cared for by a caring robot during wartime.

This year, the Student Academy Awards competition received a total of 1,582 entries from 278 U.S. colleges and universities and 122 international colleges and universities, which were voted upon by a record number of Academy members.

The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.

Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards. 

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