Short Film by Alumnus Andy Wheeler '01 Wins Student Oscar, Emmy Awards

'Thief' was the cinematographer's graduate thesis project at the American Film Institute

June 14, 2011

The dramatic short film "Thief," lensed by cinematographer Andrew Wheeler '01 (Film), was named the Gold Medal winner in the Narrative category at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 38th Annual Student Academy Awards, held June 11 in Los Angeles. The film was among 13 selected as winners in the prestigious competition.

In addition to the Student Academy Award, "Thief" also recently took home the awards for Best Drama and Best Director at the 2011 College Television Awards, also known as the Student Emmys. More than 500 students from 154 schools across the nation entered this year's 32nd annual competition.

"Thief" was Wheeler's graduate thesis at the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI), where it was also one of only six films selected for the AFI's annual student showcase.

The story of a young Iraqi boy who befriends Saddam Hussein in 1959 and encounters him again in 2003 under very different circumstances, "Thief" was inspired by a little-known real event in the life of the late Iraqi dictator and tells the story of a wronged man who must weigh the desire for revenge against the desire to make peace with the past.

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