Press Releases

CalArts Impacts Slamdance Film Festival with 12 Experimental Animation and Two Live-Action Selections

14 films at Slamdance are by filmmakers from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)—with 43% of the films in the Animated Shorts category by students and alumni of the Institute’s celebrated Experimental Animation Program. 

In addition, six CalArts filmmakers are represented in the Sundance Film Festival.

Valencia, CA, January 9—Fourteen films by faculty, students and alumni of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) were selected for the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival. Twelve films screening in the Animation, Experimental and Anarchy Shorts programs reflect the adventurous aesthetic of CalArts’ Experimental Animation Program. Live-action selections also appear in the categories of Drama and Documentary shorts. A complete list of films is at end of this release. 

In addition, six CalArts filmmakers, including Experimental Animation faculty Pia Borg, are represented in the Sundance Film Festival which precedes Slamdance in Park City Utah. The Sundance Film Festival is January 22 to Feb. 1. Slamdance runs from January 23 to 29.

A vibrant, and sometimes edgy, alternative to commercially oriented blockbusters, experimental animation incorporates a variety of techniques ranging from hand drawn to stop-motion and computer generated animation. The current state of the art encompasses a broad spectrum of exhibition platforms, including installations and site-specific works, along with the Web and more traditional venues such as television and animated films for theatrical release.

Films by students and graduates of CalArts Experimental Animation Program make up 43% of Slamdance’s Animated Shorts. “Known for pushing the boundaries of the animated form, our filmmakers’ provocative, conceptually complex films are enthusiastically received on the festival circuit,” said Experimental Animation Program Director Maureen Furniss. “Guided by fine art practices, shifts in technology, and emerging platforms for distribution, CalArts’ program nurtures the work of independent artists as they execute their personal visions—you see this experimental spirit in the range of styles, techniques, and themes of the festival selections.

CalArts was rated fifth in the nation in The Hollywood Reporter’s2014 Top Film School rankings. Influential alumnae of its Experimental Animation Program include Jorge Gutierrez, 2015  Golden Globes’ nominee for his animated feature The Book of LifeHenry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and CoralineSpongeBob Square Pants creator Stephen Hillenburg; and multimedia performance artist Miwa Matreyek.

CalArts filmmakers at Slamance 2015.

Einar Baldvin – The Pride of Strathmoor in Animation Shorts
Sean Buckelew – Hopkins & Delaney LLP in Animation Shorts
Sofia Canales – Mujer in Documentary Shorts
Adriana Copete, current student – Busking Tales in Animation Shorts
Calvin Frederick – Agrabagrabah in Experimental Shorts
Tian Guan, current student – Drama in Shorts
Spencer Holden – I’ve Got the World on a String in Experimental Shorts
Lauren Morrison – Viscera in Anarchy Shorts
Julian Petschek – Butter Ya’ Self in Animation Shorts
Matt Reed, current student – Cosmic Egg in Anarchy Shorts
Grace Nayoon Rhee – Unicorn in Anarchy Shorts
Josh Shaffner, current student – Pond in Anarchy Shorts
Brian Smee, current student – Sports in Animation Shorts
Zachary Zezima, current student – Cruising in Animation Shorts

Click here for more information, videos and a complete list of CalArts filmmakers at Sundance and Slamdance.