A filmmaker inspired by her native Mongolian culture has won a gold award at the Student Academy Awards.
University of Hertfordshire graduate Mart Bira won the Documentary (International Film Schools) category with Nomadic Doctor, which follows a medic providing care to families in the Gobi Desert.
She collected the award at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
“[I] always wanted to introduce my culture to the world,” she said.
Ms Bira graduated with a masters degree in film and TV production last year.
Earlier this year, her MA major project also won the award for the Best Student Short at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.
Her film follows a doctor who travels long distances – up to 100km (62 miles) a day – often in harsh weather conditions.
She travels day or night, by horse, camel or car to provide medical care to nomadic families in Mongolia. Although officially a paediatrician, she covers every aspect of medical practice, including gynaecology, surgery and dentistry.
Eligible for Oscars
“It wasn’t easy to find a topic for my MA final major project and I had so many ideas in my head,” Ms Bira said.
“I am originally from Mongolia and always wanted to introduce my culture to the world.
“My sister was a doctor there and she told me about the long-distance travels and frequent walks or rides in the dark that she undertook to reach patients. Through my discussions with her, I began to formulate the idea of Nomadic Doctor.
“My film has been so well received and I am delighted to win a Student Academy Award.”
Ms Bira will also be eligible to compete in the Oscars in the Documentary Short Subject category.
This year’s Student Academy Award winners were chosen from 1,582 entries.
Past recipients include Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter and Trey Parker, and winners have gone on to receive 59 Oscar nominations and won or shared 11 awards.