What do Spike Lee and Bob Saget have in common?
This undated publicity photo provided by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences shows Bob Saget at the 1978 (5th) Student Academy Awards ceremony. The latest group of Student Academy Award winners will be celebrated at a ceremony at the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles on June 8, 2013. (AP Photos/AMPAS)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some of the film industry's most illustrious talents got early confirmation they were on the right track when they won Student Academy Awards.
Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, Pixar founder John Lasseter and "South Park" creator Trey Parker are just a few of the famous filmmakers who won honors from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they were college students.
The latest crop of winners will be feted on Saturday, when the 40th annual Student Academy Awards are presented at academy headquarters in Beverly Hills, Calif. Comedian Bob Saget, who won a Student Academy Award in 1978, will host the ceremony. The newest 16 winners represent nine U.S. universities and three foreign institutions, and likely the future of film.
Here, some past winners share memories of accepting their Student Academy Awards and how it affected their careers. Their comments were provided to The Associated Press by the motion picture academy:
— JOHN LASSETER, whose credits as writer and director include "Toy Story," ''Toy Story 2," ''A Bug's Life" and "Cars," is still proud of his two Student Academy Awards won in 1979 and 1980.
This undated publicity photo provided by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences shows from left, John Lasseter, winner, Animation Achievement Award "Lady and the Lamp," at the 1979 (6th) Student Academy Awards ceremony, Don Honicky, head of college relations for the Bell System, and presenter film animator T. Hee in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photos/AMPAS, Long Photography)
"Being the first two-time winner of the Student Academy Award, I got to tell you, I still hold those prizes as some of the highest honors I've ever received," said the 56-year-old. "I've got two Academy Awards. I've got some Emmys. I've got some Golden Globes. ... But the two Student Academy Awards are two of the things that I'm most proud of because they were the first things that I won. And they gave me confidence ... to keep trusting my own instinct."
— BOB SAGET is best known as a comic and actor, a star of the long-running sitcom "Full House." He won his Student Academy Award for an 11-minute documentary he directed that he describes as, "black and white, about my nephew Adam, who had his face reconstructed."
"I think that Adam is the reason that I was even recognized by the Academy," said Saget, 57. "I filmed him and his beautiful spirit. And it was just his courage, and that's why."
Saget still considers the honor "a pretty important moment" in his life.
"When I found out that I was being flown out, that was like winning a beauty contest. I couldn't even believe that it happened. I was on local television in Philadelphia," he said. "It's about as exciting as anything could (be)."