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Four NZ Short Films Take on the World’s Best in Bondi

Media Design School
Press release
16 December 2011
Auckland, New Zealand


Acceptance of one short film to screen at the Flickerfest Short Film Festival in Australia is reason to celebrate, but having four short films selected is an unexpected Christmas gift for a number of talented 3d Animation students, and the director of the films, James Cunningham, at Auckland’s Media Design School.

Das Tub, Time for a Change, Rotting Hill and First Contact is the full sweepstake for the school, which entered the four films earlier this year for consideration in this Academy Award accredited film festival.

The films are not part of a student selection, instead competing to screen at the festival against over 2,000 films from the industry’s best short filmmakers and animators from all over the world in the Animation Showcase.

James Cunningham said “This is a great honour for the students and myself to be chosen to showcase at such an intense competition, and it is immensely satisfying to know so many people in Sydney will be bombarded with our films. We are very indebted to all the industry for their assistance in producing these films.”

Oliver Hilbert, co-producer and lecturer added “It’s a fantastic end to the year to receive this level of recognition for all the hard work”.

Flickerfest began in Sydney in 1991. Over the last 21 years it has grown to become Australia's only competitive International Short Film Festival and is considered in international circles as one of the best competitive short film festivals in the southern hemisphere.

In 2003 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science elected to recognise Flickerfest as a qualifying festival for the Best Short Film and Best Animation categories of the Academy® Awards. In 2010, Flickerfest was also recognised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), making films from the UK that won at Flickerfest, eligible for a BAFTA nomination.

Media Design School’s selected entries were created and developed by three separate teams of animators, visual effects artists, technical artists and 3D specialists in 2010 and 2011. These small teams of students worked together for a minimum of 10 weeks producing these films. Two of the scripts were penned by writer Nick Ward, one script by Guy Hamling and the other written by the students.

The four films are diverse in their content and in their style however there is a common comedic genre that links all of the films.
Das Tub, Rotting Hill and First Contact all involved live footage and character or VFX integration whilst Time For A Change was a fully CGI short film.

All students from these short films have since graduated from their studies at Media Design School and they now work in film and animation studios around New Zealand including Weta Digital, Oktobor Animation, Images and Sound, Flux Animation.

Selection into Flickerfest comes on a bumper year of awards and film festival invitations for Media Design School’s 3D Animation department.
In 2011 alone over 30 international awards have been won by students including
The Los Angeles Movie Awards, Aspen Shortfest, the Honolulu Film Awards, Los Angeles Underground Film Festival, Animago Awards as well as finalist positions in one of the most prestigious awards the Visual Effects Society Awards.

For over a decade New Zealand has contributed at the highest level in 3D Animation and Visual Effects and over the same period of time Media Design School has become Australasia’s most awarded and successful animation and visual effects school.

Most recently the school worked on a property owned by Richard Taylor and Greg Broadmore ‘Dr Grordbort Presents- The Deadliest Game’, a much awaited short film that will be released on to the international film festival circuit in early 2012.

In February 2012 40 students will commence their studies on Media Design School’s new Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects) under the direction of James Cunningham who is also the Programme leader of the 3D department at the school.

Media Design School’s Chief Executive Frances Valintine noted New Zealand’s continued success producing CGI films that really capture the imagination of the audience, she said “Films such as Avatar are developed in New Zealand as the industry is constantly innovating and developing new ways to entertain and engage the audience. The technologies and the skills that exist in New Zealand are testament to the outstanding commitment we have to being a world leader in the film sector”


© Scoop Media

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