Monday, June 18, 2012


Student Academy Awards honor 10 from U.S. schools

By Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

Florida mother who turned to filmmaking after giving birth to her third child was one of 10 U.S students honored for excellence at the 39th Student Academy Awards Saturday night at Beverly Hills.

Heather Burky, director, editor and writer of
the award winning documentary Lost Country.

Heather Burky, from the Art Institute of Jacksonville (Fla.), took a prize in the documentary section for Lost Country, which looks at three Cuban expatriates who fought Fidel Castro.

Burky was 33 and single when she gave birth to her third child and decided to make a drastic career change from property management. And Oprah Winfrey played a big part.

"I was watching Oprah and she said you have to change your own circumstances. At the time, I was pretty unhappy with my life," says Burky, now 34. "At first I cried, since I was hormonal. And then I decided to go back to school and to study film. People thought I was crazy. I had a newborn.

Oscar Award winning actor
Cuba Gooding Jr. with Heather Burky

"Now people tell me this was what I born to do,"she says.  

Her award marks the first time a student from the Art
Institute of Jacksonville has been honored in the annual competition organized by the Academy of Motion Pictures
Arts and Sciences, which administers the annual Academy Awards. The goal of the student awards is to support
excellence in filmmaking for the up-and-coming generation.

Click link for Lost Country trailer:


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