Filmakademie Students Competing In NY Machinima Festival

A team of Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg students has received a nomination for the film NICO BELLIC -- A PORTRAIT at the 5th Machinima Film Festival 2008 in New York. They will compete with five films from the U.S. in the category Best Student Work at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology on November 1, 2008.

Jens Merkl (28), Florian Muhlegg (26) and Roland Sigmond (24) are all students in the Interactive Media or Motion Design program at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. The film was created in conjunction with a machinima workshop at the Interactive Media department. It is a persiflage on the protagonist of the bestseller video game GRAND THEFT AUTO IV. The game features the Serbian Nico Bellic and his manhunt for a traitor from the war. The story is set in Liberty City which was modeled after New York City.

Since the first launch of GRAND THEFT AUTO IV in April 2008, more than nine million games fans have already hurtled Nico Bellic into adventures, shootings, car chases or plunged him from roof tops. The three film students try to make out the individual character of Nico Bellic behind his cruel mask. With subtle humor they look into questions like "Who is this Nico Bellic," "What was his childhood like," "Why did he come to Liberty City?" and "What does he feel inside?"

The New York Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences is a non-profit organization supporting and distributing machinimas and machinima filmmakers. Since 2002 the academy invites guests to visit the Machinima Filmfestival in New York. This year 35 films have been nominated in 15 categories.

More information at: http://festival.machinima.org/. Watch the film at: http://festival.machinima.org/wordpress/?page_id=17. Screenshots attached.

Interactive Media is a program at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg with the support of UFA Film & TV Produktion.

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