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19 April 2006

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From Snails to King Kong: SIGGRAPH 2006 Announces Record Submissions for the Computer Animation Festival

(Chicago, IL) - ACM SIGGRAPH today announced record submissions for the Computer Animation Festival for SIGGRAPH 2006, the 33rd International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, being held 30 July through 3 August 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Computer Animation Festival Jury selected 97 entries from a record 726 submissions for exemplary use of computer-generated imagery and animation, and compelling storytelling. Submissions originate from across the globe including such countries as Australia, Germany, Iran, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain. For the past two years, pieces accepted into the Computer Animation Festival have used it as a stepping stone to qualify for and go on to receive nominations for the Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year, 38 of the accepted films are from students.

"From across the globe, the word is out that the Computer Animation Festival is one of the premier venues for showcasing artistic and technical talent in the film world. In fact, we witnessed a remarkable 25 percent increase in submissions from 2005 to 2006, and with that increase, the competition amongst films is fierce," said Terrence Masson, the SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival chair from Digital Fauxtography Inc. "The bar of excellence has risen even higher and this year's crop of accepted pieces is diverse, thought-provoking, and technically superb."

The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival is an internationally recognized event that engages and inspires artists and technologists alike. Each year, it serves as a mirror of what is possible today and a window into what can be achieved in the future. It provides equal merit to films from independent and major studios as well as students.

SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival highlights include:

One Rat Short (Best of Show)
Alex Weil
Charlex
USA

A gripping film that follows a New York City rat from his gritty world to the interior of a futuristic laboratory. Along this journey, our main character discovers love, danger, and his fate.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"This piece immediately stood out to the Jury for many reasons. The film's emotional tone, cinematography, and technical realization all melded wonderfully into a simple yet touching short film. Repeatedly, the two lead characters transfixed our gaze with extreme close-ups, and we instantly wondered what they were thinking. Our ability to clearly empathize with the main characters' desires is one of the film's single greatest achievements."

458nm (Special Jury Honors)
Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Tom Weber
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg Germany

The romantic story of two mechanical snails that find each other under the moonlight.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"The initial submitted artist's description in no way prepared us for the stunning impact of this film. The grace, beauty, and power conveyed with such humble subjects are only more appreciated upon multiple viewings. Intricate details and subtle animation build layer upon layer of simple elegance."

Fog (Niebla)
Emilio Ramos
Spain

An old man spins a nostalgic story about the village's flying sheep bringing the town to a brief moment of prosperity

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"An original and very personal work that is absolutely beautiful in so many ways. The combination of such originality with overall technical excellence makes the piece quite memorable. The look, the storytelling, and the facial animation of the main character specifically are all completely brilliant. A film truly meant to be watched multiple times."

The Building
Marco Nguyen, Pierre Perifel, Xavier Ramonede, Olivier Staphylas, Rémi Zaarour
France

The setting is an apartment building where a colorful grandmother bangs on a wall to complain about a neighbor who is singing loudly while taking a shower.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"The set up, payoff, and comic timing make this one of the most humorous films this year. Another example of great design, animation, and gag all coming together in a superb, technically tight edit. A hilariously funny piece."

King Kong: "In a New York Minute"
Chris White
New Zealand

Watch New York grow before your eyes.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"A brilliant, behind-the-scenes demonstration of a mind-boggling and complex sequence. Much of the vast volume of visual effects work done today fails to impress because we've seen it all and we've seen SO much of it. "New York Minute" is so stunning that we are reminded just how much thought, time, and effort go into producing today's visual effects feature film work."

Into Pieces
Guilherme Marcondes
Brazil

Do you ever have the feeling things don't fit in?

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"Short, simple, hilarious, and brilliant. One of many examples of outstanding short film-making without 3D elements. This year, we specifically requested more 2D animations because there may be a misconception that SIGGRAPH is all about 3D -- this is clearly not the case. The fresh look of this film, the comic timing, and tight animation make it a very clear favorite."

Delivery
Till Nowak
Germany

An old man lives a lonely life under the dark shadows of industrial smog. One day he receives a mysterious package that gives him the ability to change his environment.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"A perfect example of the power of storytelling. Using computer graphics to illustrate this simple fantasy world is truly the filmmaker taking advantage of the medium."

Robin Hood Flour - Giving
Richard Rosenman
Canada

It is a holiday evening, and the main characters (Andrew and Elizabeth) are being interviewed at their dining room table. They are furiously busy wrapping gingerbread cookies in gift boxes. The table shows various gift-wrapping accessories, the freshly baked cookies (complete with handwritten names), a glamorous candle ornament, and a kitchen cloth with the Robin Hood logo. The cold winter setting outside contrasts with the warm dining room lighting inside and helps develop a cozy holiday atmosphere.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"One of the best examples of character animation in the entire show. Absolutely tight timing with wonderfully subtle eye movements, voice talent, staging, character design, lighting, set dressing, and much more. In fact, the piece was so well received that we put two separate spots in the show -- one in the Electronic Theater and one in the Animation Theater."

My Date from Hell
Tim Weimann and Tom Bracht
Germany

The Devil has grown mild-tempered and a bit fat in his old age. He does not like Hell anymore and wants to find a suitable mate to start a new life. Naturally, he starts his search by posting personal ads in the local newspaper, reviewing dating videos, and meeting various women on blind dates. Find out if the Devil can find the true woman of his dreams.

Comments from the Computer Animation Festival Chair:
"Great character development makes this film stand out and easily sustain itself even though it is 14 minutes long -- by far the longest piece accepted this year. The film has absolutely everything: great character and set design, cinematography, and brilliant attention to detail. An incredible accomplishment by a handful of students from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg."

Information on the SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival

SIGGRAPH 2006 will bring an estimated 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Boston, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from 30 July to 3 August 2006. SIGGRAPH 2006 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 1-3 August 2006. More than 250 international exhibiting companies are expected. Registration for the conference and exhibition is open to the public.

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ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading professional society for computer graphics and interactive techniques, sponsors SIGGRAPH 2006.