DON’T FORGET! Spring Awards on Friday/May 8!


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A Character Design Workshop with Sarah Barrie Fenton!

Sarah Fenton's Character Design Workshop 5_8_15

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Shorts 5: Family Films on Sunday/April 26

Animation screening event from the San Francisco International Film Festival!


April 26, 2015 10:00 a.m.
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

This cavalcade of stories is sure to please the smallest members of your family as well as the young at heart. Even the most discerning tastes should be satisfied with this mixture of adventure, volcanic eruptions, family drama, exotic locales, Broadway showstoppers, high flying explorers, performing bovines, inquisitive trees and every style of animation that you could ever hope to see. This year’s collection includes new work from Pixar Studios as well as the legendary Glen Keane. And did we mention there are cows?

Recommended for ages 6 and up

Aria for a Cow
A musical plea from the often neglected and underappreciated barnyard inhabitants is brought to life by a never-heard before song by Howard Ashman & Alan Menken. (Dan Lund, USA 2015, 7 min)

Cows (Moosic Video)
Not enough dancing cows you say? Well, we’ve got another bovine musical showstopper guaranteed to udderly satisfy even the most lactose intolerant of audience members. (Sandra Boynton, USA 2014, 3 min)

This lovely tale is a celebration of life through the hand-drawn line. Animated and directed by the creator of Ariel, Pocahantas, Tarzan and Rapunzel. (Glen Keane, USA 2014, 4 min)

It’s hard to leave your childhood home and the memories you’ve created there. Some things we are forced to leave behind and then there is the rest we’ll always keep close to our hearts. (Saschka Unseld, USA 2014, 5 min)

Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, this musical love story takes place over millions of years. (James Ford Murphy, USA 2014, 8 min)
This is a Cinema by the Bay film.

Armed with a boundless imagination and talent for drawing, Lila creatively fills in the missing pieces of her life and the world around her. (Carlos Lascano, Argentina/Spain 2014, 9 min)

My Big Brother
Sure, we’ve all fought with our siblings, and sometimes it’s even hard to see eye to eye with them. We’ve got it easy compared to these vertically challenged brothers. (Jason Rayner, USA 2014, 3 min)
This is a Cinema by the Bay film.

One, Two, Tree
This is the story of a tree like any other. One day it jumps into a pair of boots and goes for a walk. (Yulia Aronova, France/Switzerland 2015, 7 min)

A stunningly designed piece that incorporates Persian music, calligraphic art and ornamental designs to tell the traditional Persian story of life that deals with the fragility of self-worth. (Meghdad Asadi Lari, USA 2014, 5 min)

The Story of Percival Pilts
A whimsical story about living an impractical life based on a childhood promise, where the phrase “reaching for the stars” takes on a whole new vertigo-inducing meaning. (Janette Goodey, John Lewis, Australia/New Zealand 2015, 9 min)

Super Sounds
A shy and lonely young boy lets down his guard long enough to welcome in a potential new friendship. (Stephen de Villiers, Australia 2014, 12 min)

Keith Zwolfer

For more information, click here.

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42nd Student Academy Awards (Submit for FREE by June 1, 2015)

 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Logo

42nd Student Academy Awards

The Student Academy Awards (SAA) recognizes and honors student filmmakers who demonstrate excellence in the creation of motion pictures. By awarding these outstanding achievements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences strives to support and inspire emerging filmmakers and to foster growth and education in the art and science of motion pictures.

This year’s deadline for all films is June 1, 2015.

Submit for FREE by June 1, 2015.

We are using FilmFreeway, a third party submission platform, for this year’s competition.  You will need to create a FilmFreeway account in order to apply.

For more information, go to

Awards & Prizes

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal Awards (which include cash grants of $5000, $3000 and $2000, respectively, and a trip to Los Angeles for SAA Week) may be given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of outstanding achievements in student filmmaking in each of five categories: Narrative, Animation, Alternative, Documentary and Foreign.

Rules & Terms



1. Eligibility

a. The student filmmaker must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-granting program at a college or university recognized by the SAA Executive Committee as indicated by the “Student Academy Awards School Eligibility” criteria (see below).

b. Entries must have been made in a teacher-student relationship within the curricular structure of the teaching institution.

c. Entries must be submitted no later than one year from the date of graduation and include the student’s faculty adviser’s endorsement.

d. Entries must be motion picture works that have been completed and submitted between April 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015 (Eligibility Period).

e. Entry content may not be altered once submitted for Student Academy Award consideration. (Do not submit work in progress.)

f. Entries must be submitted online through the designated SAA submission portal on or before close of business on the last day of the above defined Eligibility Period.

g. Advertising films, promotional films, and films made as works for hire are not eligible.

h. Entries submitted for the Academy Awards competition (regardless of the outcome) are not eligible for entry into any subsequent SAA competition.

i. No entry may be longer than 40 minutes including opening and closing credits.

j. All entries submitted must be in English, subtitled in English, or dubbed in English.

2. Entry Procedures

a. Entry forms and films must be submitted digitally using the designated submission platform. Filmmakers should contact the Academy office if any issues prevent digital submission.

b. Entry forms must list the single director or person most responsible for the creative production of the submission. Shared credits will be allowed for no more than two students if the responsibility is shared. If there are any credit discrepancies or controversies, the Academy will insist that credits be settled before the submission may be considered for an award. The final determination for credits in any event shall be made by the SAA Executive Committee. The Academy shall not be bound by any contract or agreement relating to the sharing or giving of credit, and reserves the right to make its own determination of credit for purposes of SAA consideration.

c. Entry forms must include an acknowledgement that Student has read and agrees to the Student Academy Awards rules. A faculty adviser from the Student’s school is required for all submissions, and the form must include the adviser’s correct name and contact information.

d. Domestic entries must be submitted to one (and only one) of the SAA Submission Categories. Foreign entries should be submitted to the Foreign category, but must be first selected by the student filmmaker’s school for submission to the SAA. Only schools that are recognized non-U.S. members of CILECT can participate in the Foreign category and each school is allowed only one entry. Failure to apply in the correct category could result in disqualification.

e. Entries that advance to the semifinal round of judging must be provided in an approved format as defined by the “Student Academy Awards Approved Formats.” Filmmakers will have at least one week to provide the copy to the Academy.

f. Upon request submitted with the entry form, any hard media provided (with the exception of DVD) will be returned to the entrant within 30 days of the the conclusion of the competition.

g. The Academy is not responsible for late, misdirected, missing, or damaged entries.

h. Failure to adhere to the entry requirements within the Eligibility Period will result in disqualification.

3. Judging Procedures

a. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal Awards (which include cash grants of $5000, $3000 and $2000, respectively and a trip to Los Angeles for the SAA Week) may be given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of outstanding achievements in student filmmaking in each category.

b. The entries shall be judged on the basis of resourcefulness, originality, entertainment, and production quality, without regard to cost of production or subject matter.

c. Upon submission, entries shall be verified for eligibility and category.

d. All stages of judging, including Preliminary, Semifinal, and Final rounds, shall be overseen by the members of the Academy. The Academy may designate additional non-member judges as required at the sole discretion of the SAA Executive Committee.

e. Preliminary entries will be judged via their online digital submission. At this stage, the Academy has the option to re-categorize the entry into a more suitable category. Filmmakers will be notified of advancement to the semifinals within the week of July 1, 2015.

f. Semifinalist entries shall be judged theatrically by only members of the Academy. Filmmakers will be notified of advancement to the finals within the week of August 7, 2015.

g. Finalist entries shall be judged theatrically by only members of the Academy to be completed by August 17, 2015. Final ballots shall be tabulated by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers and filmmakers in each category shall be notified promptly.

h. Presentation of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Award winners in each category will be made at the Student Academy Awards Ceremony on September 18, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California.

4. Miscellaneous

a. Student Academy Awards winning films are eligible for entry into the following year’s Academy Awards competition, provided the films satisfy all criteria for the Academy Award category for which they are entered.

b. If the eligibility and/or category of any entry is questioned, the Academy reserves the right to make a determination as the SAA Executive Committee may deem appropriate at its discretion.

c. The Academy reserves the right to amend or modify any procedure, process, or rule, as may be considered necessary by the SAA Executive Committee for the proper conduct of the Student Academy Awards or to adhere to any standards set forth by the Academy.

d. The decisions of the Academy regarding any matter regarding the SAA shall be final and binding in all respects.


1. Domestic (U.S. based) accredited by one of the following agencies:

a. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

b. New England Association of Schools and colleges

c. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

d. Northwest Accreditation Commission on Colleges and Universities

e. Western Association of Schools and Colleges

f. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

2. Foreign Schools (Non-U.S. based) must be a member of CILECT

1. Domestic Categories

a. ANIMATION – Animated films may present an original narrative story, an existing story or fable, or an exploration of a mood or thought. Either comical or serious, they usually fall into one of two general fields — character animation or abstract animation. Various techniques include cel animation, computer animation, clay animation, stop-motion, pixilation, cut-out pins, camera multiple-pass imagery, kaleidoscope effects, and drawing on the film frame itself. Winning Animation films are chosen by judging the product as a whole, as well as the artistic and technical skill of the filmmaker in whatever motif or animation technique the student has chosen.

b. DOCUMENTARY – Documentary films are nonfiction visual essays that seek to present historical subjects, current social or political issues, or specific human experiences in such a way as to have a dramatic impact upon the viewing audience. Documentaries may be filmed in the cinéma vérité style where camera and microphone merely record the event without injecting the comments or subjective conclusions of the filmmaker, or may be a reenactment. In the latter case, the distinction between dramatic and documentary film lies in the fact that while dramatic film is fictional, documentary film deals with factual situations and circumstances. Winning films in this category are chosen on the basis of artistic technique, as well as the ability of the documentarian to fashion reality into a film essay which leaves the audience better informed and/or moved.

c. NARRATIVE – Narrative films strive to portray life, a character or a narrative story much the same way a novel does, but within the context of an audiovisual medium. Past narrative films by students have included, but were not limited to, dramas, comedies, musicals, and many other story oriented genres. Winning entries in this and all other categories reflect the merit of the film when viewed as a whole, as well as the professional execution of its component parts, such as script, dialogue, direction, cinematography, lighting, acting, editing and scoring. Narrative category films may be adaptations of existing pieces of literature or original stories written by the student filmmaker.

d. ALTERNATIVE – Films submitted in this category must not be candidates for any other category. Alternative films extend traditional cinematic boundaries and conventions of expression. These films employ progressive aesthetic and/or technical elements. These films convey a reinterpretation of traditional structural components such as story, imagery, words, time, space, motion, sound, light and color. These films often expand the language of cinema. This category is not meant to be a “catch all” category for films that lack structure and/or craftsmanship. The Academy strictly evaluates if films submitted in this category are appropriately Alternative.

2. FOREIGN – Submissions to the foreign category can be from any of the categories listed in the Domestic Category. However, submission are limited to one per eligible school.

Approved formats include:

a. HD quality digital file (min. resolution of 1920×1080): Quicktime (Pro Res 422. Pro Res 4444), AVI, H.264

b. DCP

i. Aspect Ratio: 1.78, 1.85, 2.39
ii. Soundtrack: 2 Channel Stereo PCM, 5.1 (6) Channel PCM

c. Film

i. Gauge: 16mm (optical only), 35mm
ii. Aspect Ratio: 1.33, 1.85, 2.35
iii. Soundtrack: Optical, Magnetic
iv. Films with a separate magnetic sound track will not be accepted.


By submitting a film to the Student Academy Awards competition you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the Student Academy Awards rules and that the submitted film meets all of the eligibility requirements. Violation of the rules may result in disqualification of the film and any other penalties deemed warranted by the Student Academy Awards Executive Committee.

If the entry, hereby submitted, is selected as an award winner in the final competition, that motion picture may be included in a compilation produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is distributed for educational and noncommercial exhibitions in any medium throughout the world. It may also be displayed on the Academy’s official websites and exhibited at the Academy theaters and facilities for the non-profit purpose of promoting the Student Academy Awards.

In connection with the use of the motion picture, the applicant(s) agree(s) to the following conditions:

1. I (We) grant the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Foundation, a non-exclusive license to include all or any portion of the entry in said compilation, for the above described uses.

2. I (We) grant the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Foundation the right to use my (our) name, likeness, and biographical information in connection with the Student Academy Awards.

3. I (We) will submit to the Academy within 30 days of the Award Presentation all necessary clearances, consents and releases required, including, without limitation, the consent of the performers in the film, clearances from the copyright owner(s) and performer(s) of music used in the motion picture, and, if the film is based on a literary work or work from another medium, the consent of the owner of the underlying property.

4. I (We) shall indemnify, defend and hold the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Foundation harmless from and against all losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities and expenses (including, without limitation, attorney’s fees and any payment that may be due any music publisher, writer, director, actor, union, guild or other party) arising from any claims, whether or not groundless, which may be brought based directly or indirectly upon the use of the motion picture.

5. I(We) grant the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences the right to make/retain a copy of the motion picture, for archival purposes only, and will have it available within 30 days of the awards presentation.


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Spring Awards 2015 (May 8/Friday @ 491 Post)


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Fall 2015 Demo Reel (Deadline: May 15)

Pixar Poster FA15

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Best Shorts Competition (Deadline is June 19, 2015)

Logo Best Shorts

Rick Prickett, Competition Coordinator

The next Best Shorts Competition deadline is June 19, 2015


The Best Shorts Competition is unique in the industry.  Attracting both powerhouse companies as well as talented new filmmakers it is an exceptional, truly international awards competition, not a traditional film festival – which allows filmmakers from around the world to enter their films in this prestigious competition.

Currently in its 5th year, Best Shorts is an avant-garde worldwide competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality shorts and new media. Best Shorts promotes award winners through press releases to over 40,000 filmmakers, industry contacts and global media/distribution outlets. We are currently developing a filmmaker representative program to assist with the distribution of award winning films and a joing venture with The GRID, a worldwide network for mobile devices – both coming in 2015.

Our talented award winners have gone on to win Oscars, Emmys, Tellys and other awards.

What kind of media:

The Best Shorts Competition is an excellent venue for films, documentaries, new and experimental media, television pilot programs, animation, educational programs, remixes & mashups, movie trailers, music videos, webisodes and tube length works. As long as the entry is 57 minutes or less, it is eligible for submission.


Each year Best Shorts Competition receives thousands of entries. Quality and creativity are celebrated in three levels of awards: Best of Show, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Award of Recognition.

The judging takes place by in-house staff and a committee of industry professionals including Emmy, Telly and Communicator award nominees and recipients.

As with the Tellys and regional Emmy Awards, entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly. Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded as Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Award of Recognition. or no award.

Best of Show honors are granted to the top scoring entry for each season.  Awards of Excellence are granted to entries with truly exceptional filmmaking.  Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Award of Merit award level and Award of Recognition recognizes achievement in a specific category of entry .

No fixed number of awards are granted at any level but rather fluctuate based on the total number of entries received for each competition deadline.


Each submission received through the Best Shorts Competition website or film portals will be contacted via electronic mail to confirm entry. Film portals such as Withoutabox and Film Freeway generally also notify through their system.

After judging is completed, winners in all categories will be notified of their award and are provided the opportunity to acquire statuettes and other keepsakes to commemorate their achievement. Submissions that were not awarded will be notified after the judging process.


Submissions must be 57 minutes or less to be categorized as a “short”.

•Submissions in other than English must be subtitled.

•Multiple entries are allowed for each filmmaker and each entry may be entered in multiple categories.

•The entry fee for the first judging category is $60.00. Each additional judging category is $40.00.

•Please provide an online link to your submission and be sure to include the password on the attached online submission form. Or you can send a DVD screener in NTSC format.

•Written comments describing entries are beneficial.

•DVD Entries will not be returned.

Go to for details.

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Claire Wendling is Coming on April 21!


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The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is available for streaming on Netflix

If you have a Netflix account and enjoy Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films, then you might enjoy this!

You can find it on Netflix under its Japanese title, Yume to kyôki no ohkoku.

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Have You Submitted Your Work to Spring Show 2015 Yet?


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