October 2, 2013

The two short films written and produced by the class of 2013 Character Animation program were honored at the Central Florida Film Festival.

Ember and Gaiaspora were named finalists for Best Animated Project. Ember won the award and was also a finalist for Best Florida Project and Paul Leder Best Student Project. According to officials, it was the first entry in the festival’s history to be chosen as finalist in three categories.

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 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 Michael Contardo and Andrew Pace, 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 Matt Trudell. The film reveals a world that has suffered an environmental calamity originating from a distant Earth. Jo Anne Adams served as Faculty Director for both films.

At last year’s Central Florida Film Festival, the SVAD Character Animation program also fielded multiple finalists. Box Forts (Student Director Anthony Fariello) and Flower Story (Student Director Adam Tazi) were finalists for the Paul Leder Best Student Project. Flower Story won.

Chelsea Stewart accepts the Best Animated Project award from the Central Florida Film Festival

Chelsea Stewart accepts Ember‘s Best Animated Project award from the Central Florida Film Festival