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MDS short wins SIGGRAPH Asia Jury Prize

Media Design School’s short film, Accidents, Blunders and Calamities has won the Jury’s Choice award at the SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festival Awards.

Inspired by the Edward Gorey classic, Accidents, Blunders and Calamities is the tale of a father possum reading a cautionary bedtime story to his children about the most dangerous animal of all… humans!

A total of 30 CGI animals were meticulously crafted and killed by a team of 44 third year Bachelor of Art and Design students for Accidents, Blunders and Calamities, which was selected for one of three prizes at SIGGRAPH Asia out of an overwhelming 433 submissions from 34 countries.

According to SIGGRAPH Asia, all of the submissions received were evaluated by a jury of professionals expert who span the visual effects, animation, research and development, games, advertising, and education industries.

Bachelor of Art and Design senior lecturer and award-winning director James Cunningham says that picking up the jury prize at a prestigious festival like SIGGRAPH Asia means a lot to both him and his students as it helps to inspire them to make more “weird and quirky stories.”
“To know that lots of people have watched the film and have been amused and/or revolted by it is so important. But to know some very smart people on a jury really liked it is awesome,” says Cunningham.

The students who worked on Accidents, Blunders and Calamities have since graduated from Media Design School and many are working in the film industry both in New Zealand and overseas.

“Winning the SIGGRAPH Asia jury prize gives our students great confidence in their abilities and helps them get noticed above the pack of other young people trying to get into the industry,” says Cunningham.

Accidents, Blunders and Calamities has already won a number of accolades and awards including Best Animated Film at the San Diego Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (2016); People’s Choice Award at Short Me Shorts Film Festival (2015); Official Selection at Clermont-Ferrand (2016); Official Selection SXSW Film Festival (2016); Official Selection Annecy Festival (2016); and an Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica (2016).

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