September 16, 2013

Two short films produced by the SVAD Character Animation program are making multiple festival appearances.

In July, Gaiaspora and Ember were displayed on the convention floor at SIGGRAPH 2013 in Anaheim. In addition, both films were accepted into the Central Florida Film Festival and AniMazing Spotlight! Festival in Los Angeles.

The films were created by students in the Character Animation Program in UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design. This two-year program requires students to learn every step of the production process in order to create an original, 3D animated short.

A team of 16 students, led by student director Trey Buongiorno and co-directors Andrew Pace and Michael Contardo, completed Ember ahead of schedule. The film follows the story of a fire spirit that is summoned into the harsh Mongolian mountains to fulfill his destiny.

Gaiaspora was led by student director Matthew Mann and co-director Matthew Trudell. The film reveals a world that has suffered an environmental calamity originating from a distant Earth.

Faculty director Jo Anne Adams oversaw both projects. Adams also assembled documentation for the films, including coursework and production schedules, that is now archived by the SIGGRAPH Education Committee.

The shorts screened at the Central Florida Film Festival on August 30. This year, Movie Maker Magazine called the festival one of its “Top 25 Film Festivals.”

The films will appear at the next AniMazing Spotlight! Festival in September 2014 at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. AniMazing Spotlight is open to undiscovered and/or rarely seen animation shorts. The festival features an international panel of animation experts that reviews entries and selects award winners.