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NZ Short Films Finalists for VES Awards

NZ Short Films Finalists for VES Awards

Auckland’s Media Design School is leading the student section at the VES (Visual Effects Society) Awards in Los Angeles this year – considered the ‘Oscars’ of the visual effects world.

Two films animated by advanced 3D students at the school, Das Tub and Time For Change, have been selected as two of four finalists in the category Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project.

Avatar took out the most awards at the 2010 VES Awards, nabbing six wins including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture.

Weta Digital VFX supervisor Matt Aitken says that the studio is proud of its long-standing relationship with Media Design School and has recently hired Junying Xu, one of the students involved in making the films.

“Media Design School has a history of training talented artists, many of whom we have hired at Weta Digital over the years. We’re thrilled to see their talent getting international acclaim, with two out of the four nominations at the VES Awards this year,” says Aitken.

Media Design School 3D course leader James Cunningham says he is confident that either Das Tub or Time For Change will win the category.

“This is obviously a dream come true for any young animator – I mean, just look at the names of the other films that have been nominated…Inception, Shrek Forever After, Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland – all Hollywood blockbusters.

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I was blown away when I saw that two of our films had also been selected. Das Tub and Time For Change will now be sent out to all 2000 members of the VES Society from more than 20 countries around the globe for them to vote on.

This means that all the top VFX people in the world will be seeing the work of our students. That’s the sort of recognition that will really help to build up their careers for years to come,” says Cunningham.

Pete Rive, chairman and president of Film Auckland also congratulated the students’ achievement, saying that the awards show that New Zealand has the kind of up-and-coming talent needed to keep the Kiwi film industry strong for decades to come.

“This is an outstanding achievement by Media Design School, which shows the world that NZ is truly a breeding ground for visual effects talent and creativity. Film Auckland is proud to recognise that these hugely talented students were all taught here in Auckland, at one of our leading digital design schools. We look forward to seeing all their names in the credits of major movies in the near future.”

Das Tub and Time For Change were both animated by Rupert Ashton, Priyan Jayamaha, Junying Xu and Kirsten Dale Pretorius from the school’s Advanced 3D Productions course.

The VES awards, run by the Visual Effects Society – a non-profit organisation representing all visual effects practitioners in the global entertainment industry, is considered the world’s most prestigious VFX awards.

The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. A full list of nominees can be found at http://www.visualeffectssociety.com


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