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‘Mermaids on Mars’ Wins Animation Prize at Carmel Film Fest

Stop-motion feature from Athena Studios receives Best Animation award at the 2015 Carmel International Film Festival.

EMERYVILLE, CA -- Athena Studios, an Emeryville, CA-based company specializing in animation, is has announced that the studio’s original, stop-motion animated short film, Mermaids on Mars, was named Winner of the Best Animation Award for 2015 during the just concluded Carmel International Film Festival.

Athena Studios provided all of the animation and production work on the film. The studio also helped to adapt the original full-length screenplay by the film’s producer Nancy Guettier (author of the Mermaids on Mars book,) and by writer Jarrett Galante into its short film format.

To bring the story of Mermaids on Mars to life, Athena assembled a notable crew comprised of a number of stop-motion animation and feature film luminaries. Among these crew members: Athena Producer Kat Alioshin (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride), Director of Photography Pete Kozachik (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Corpse Bride, Ghostbusters 2, Nightmare Before Christmas), Cinematographer Timothy Taylor (Back to the Future 2, Frankenweenie, Coraline), Art Director Tom Proost (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace ,A.I., James and the Giant Peach, The Matrix 2 and 3) and Puppet Fabricator Victoria Rose Zalewski (Coraline, Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas).

Other noted talent which contributed to Mermaids on Mars included Justin Kohn (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, Antz, The Simpsons) and Amy Adamy (Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, Robot Chicken).

Hot off of their success at the Carmel International Film Festival, the Athena Studios team is now back in active development on another of their original projects, a stop-motion, animated feature film entitled Auntie Claus, with collaborator and co-producer Nate Hopper (Blazing Samurai, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Surf’s Up, Open Season), The film, based upon the award-winning children’s book of the same name by author Elise Primavera, presents the tale of a materialistic young girl who discovers the true meaning of the Christmas holiday season through her adventures at the North Pole with her great Aunt,  who just happens to be the sister of Santa Claus.

Also upcoming for the Athena Studios Team:

  • On November 7th, Jon Peters will be giving a presentation at UC Berkeley with another local director as a part of BAMFA for underprivileged kids.
  • On November 13-14, “Mermaids on Mars” will once again appear in competition during the ITSA Film Festival (Sonora, CA).
  • On December 12-13, Mermaids on Mars will be a featured entry during the 11th Annual Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival, held at the LA County Museum of Art. 

Source: Athena Studios

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.