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Birthday Boy, Ryan Earn SIGGRAPH 2004 Computer Animation Festival Honors

ACM SIGGRAPH announced the Computer Animation Festival's Best Animated Short and Jury Honors winners for SIGGRAPH 2004, to be held Aug. 8-12 in Los Angeles, California. The Computer Animation Festival jury selected BIRTHDAY BOY (by Sejong Park of the Australian Film Television and Radio School) as Best Animated Short and RYAN (by Chris Landreth) for Jury Honors. Chris Bregler, New York University, is the SIGGRAPH 2004 Computer Animation Festival Chair.

BIRTHDAY BOY is about a Korean lad that imagines his father's daily life as a soldier on the frontlines in 1951. "The Jury awarded Best Animated Short to Birthday Boy because of its captivating and expert storytelling and filmmaking," Bregler explains. "This is a phenomenal film on its merits alone, but even more impressive given that Park is still a student. Every camera angle and motion transcends the screen and transports the viewer into Manuk's world to experience life as he knows it. The story is so compelling and magical that the 3D computer animation becomes secondary to the delivery of the film."

RYAN utilizes disembodied 3D-generated characters to explore the life of Ryan Larkin, a former animator who produced some of the most influential animated films of his time 30 years ago at the National Film Board of Canada. Today, Larkin lives on welfare and panhandles for spare change in Montreal. How could such an artistic genius follow this path?

"Ryan received this award because the jury perceived it as a milestone in using this new animation and rendering style to tell such a poignant and intimate story," said Bregler. "Utilizing lifelike action and animation, the director has created one of the most powerful and engaging films in the festival. Oscar nominee Landreth has surpassed even his other masterpieces [The End and Bingo] with this breathtaking film."

A complete list of Computer Animation Festival selections for SIGGRAPH 2004 can be found at

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SIGGRAPH 2004, the 31st International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques, will bring nearly 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to the week-long conference. A comprehensive technical program and special events focusing on research, art, animation, games, interactivity and the Web are planned. SIGGRAPH 2004 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from Aug. 10-12.