Students from UCLA Graduate School of Film & TV and Brigham Young University took first place in the animation categories of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundations 26th Annual College Television Award. The winners were announced March 13, 2005, at a gala ceremony at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Along with the second and third place winners, these talented students, and the winners in the live-action categories, will have their work showcased March 14, from 7:00-10:00 pm at the annual College Television Awards Festival at the Television Academy, which is open to the public.
The black-tie Awards Gala was emceed by Bryan Cranston, who stars as Hal on FOX's Emmy Award-winning series, Malcolm in the Middle. The College Television Awards winners were flown in, courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation, from across the country to accept their awards and mingle with industry leaders at the invitation-only ceremony.
The first award of the night, Animation (Non-Traditional), was presented by Pamela S. Adlon (the voice of Bobby Hill on KING OF THE HILL) to Shane Acker of UCLA, who took first place for his graduate thesis, 9, about a rag doll must face a monster that has been hunting his brethren and stealing their souls. Many attendees noticed it also demonstrated the best sound of all the winning entries.
Second place went to David Bokser of Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia, for his LE VIEIL HOMME ET LES POISSONS (THE OLD MAN AND THE FISH). His college adviser is Larry Latham, who moderates an AWN forum. In the true spirit of animation comradeship, Acker offered Bokser, while they posed for pictures off-stage, to give him contacts for animation and vfx studios in Los Angeles as Bokser now hopes to land a job doing character computer animation. A bit non-pulsed that the top two CGI winners didnt use voices in the their films, voice actress Adlon said she was still delighted to present them with their awards and encouraged them to use voices in their future work and that she was completely at their disposal to help in that regard. Maya was the main animation software used in the two 3D top winners.
Bruce Holt of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, won third place for his ANOTHER PET SHOP. He and the other third place winners were all presented on stage together, instead of coming up individually to accept their awards.
Veteran animator Phil Roman (president of Phil Roman Entertainment and founder of Film Roman) presented first place in Traditional Animation to Chad Erekson, another student from Brigham Young University, for his FAUX PAW: ADVENTURES IN THE INTERNET. The film was a delightful homage to Warner Brothers cartoons; cleverly crafted as a public service announcement in which Faux Paw the cat learns about Internet safety. Erekson was a bit overwhelmed with the festivities surrounding his win, which was the first competition he had entered his film in.
Second place went to Christopher Conforti from the School of Visual Arts in New York City for simply drawn and colored FROG. Conforti told AWN he is already doing freelance work for Nickelodeon in New York after answering a job posting in the AWNs Career Connections.
Coming in third place was a student film already generating awards on the festival circuit, REX STEELE: NAZI SMASHER, by Alexander Woo from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.
Roman commented that the future of the industry will be the responsibility of these students and, that based upon these entries, our future is in good hands.
Merle Welton, one of the animation judges of this college competition and consistent judge from the animation peer group for the professional Emmy competitions (both daytime and primetime) said, These students entries were outstanding; truly better than the professional work weve been seeing for the past few years.
The College Television Awards recognize excellence in undergraduate and graduate student film/video productions in nine categories: childrens programs, comedy, documentary, drama, magazine shows, music, newscasts, non-traditional animation and traditional animation. The Academy received 415 entries submitted by 139 colleges and universities in the U.S. Blue ribbon panels judged all entries and all judging took place at the Television Academy headquarters in North Hollywood.
First place winners were awarded $2,000, second place $1,000 and third place $500 in all categories. First and second place winners also received the Eastman Product Grant sponsored by the Kodak Worldwide Student Program in cooperation with the Television Academy, which provides first place winners with $2,000 of film stock and second place winners with $1,000 of film stock.
The winning entries will be screened at the College Television Awards Festival hosted by Martin Bruestle (producer, THE SOPRANOS). The festival will take place at the Television Academys Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre and is open to the public. For more information, please call the festival hotline at (818) 754-2838.