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23 May 2007

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SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival Sets Record

(Chicago, IL) - SIGGRAPH 2007 announced today record submissions for this year's Computer Animation Festival taking place at the 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, 5-9 August 2007 in San Diego, California, USA.

The Computer Animation Festival jury selected from a record 905 submissions for exemplary use of computer-generated imagery and animation, and compelling storytelling. With show categories ranging from animation to research, this year's submissions originate from countries across the globe including France, Germany, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Also, for the first time in the history of SIGGRAPH, two of the award-winning films are student entries. SIGGRAPH 2007 also marks the first time filmmakers were able to submit high definition video to the selection jury, which greatly increased the jury's ability to appreciate the intricacy of each film - especially the award winners. A total of 134 submissions were accepted.

"I'm thrilled with the jury's selections. With the record number of submissions, our material truly represents the best of the best in all of the show categories," stated Paul Debevec, SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival Chair from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. "This year's show weaves together amazing visuals from numerous disciplines into a single mind-altering experience."

SIGGRAPH's location on the West Coast, closer to the large animation studios, makes 2007 a notable year for studio-produced shorts with Pixar's "Lifted," Blue Sky's "No Time for Nuts," and Blur Studio's "A Gentlemen's Duel" lending heavy-hitting strength to the Electronic Theater show.

"The Electronic Theater also presents a watershed year for fluid simulation in feature films. Scanline's '300's Liquid Battlefield,' Sony Pictures Animation's 'Surf's Up,' and Digital Domain and Industrial Light and Magic's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' all feature uniquely executed but beautifully believable digital oceans and waves," added Debevec.

SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival highlights as selected by Paul Debevec include:

Ark (Best of Show)
Grzegorz Jonkajtys and Marcin Kobylecki, www.thearkfilm.com, Poland
An unknown virus has destroyed almost the entire human population. Oblivious to the true nature of the disease, the only remaining survivors escape to the sea. In great ships, they set off in search of uninhabited land untouched by the deadly virus. So begins the exodus, led by one man ...

Dreammaker (Jury Honors)
Leszek Plichta, Institute of Animation, Visual Effects, and Digital Post Production, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany
In the past, this talented dreammaker created the most beautiful dreams for people. Now, he lives in solitude focused on only one purpose - the creation of a special dream - his dream ...

En Tus Brazos (Award of Excellence)
François-Xavier Goby, Edouard Jouret, Matthieu Landour, Supinfocom Valenciennes, France
A remarkable tale of the greatest tango dancer of the 1920's who finds himself confined to a wheelchair after an unfortunate accident. Thanks to his loving wife, he recovers the use of his legs just in time for the most magical dance of his life.

Lifted
Gary Rydstrom, Director, Pixar Animation Studios, California, USA
A bumbling young alien student from a distant world tests the patience of an increasingly weary instructor as he attempts a first-time abduction of an innocently slumbering farmer in "Lifted," the comical latest short film from Pixar Animation Studios.

A Gentlemen's Duel
Francisco Ruiz & Sean McNally, Directors, Blur Studio, California, USA
In "A Gentlemen's Duel," a new short film presented by Oscar-nominated Blur Studio, this time-honored tradition is re-imagined with a fantastic blend of boisterous characters and over-the-top comedic action. A seemingly innocent tea party takes a turn for the dramatic when two imperious aristocrats suddenly find themselves competing for the affections of the same fair lady.

Travelers: Snowball
Dan Lemmon, Weta Digital Ltd, New Zealand
"Travelers: Snowball" begins with a man walking down a steep street in San Francisco. He crashes through a yard sale, before tumbling head-over-heels down the hill. As the man continues to roll he creates a "snowball effect," accumulating objects from the street to create an enormous ball of urban debris.

A VFX Journey Through Pan's Labyrinth with CafeFX
CafeFX, California, USA
When the harsh world of the Spanish Civil War becomes too horrific to bear in director Guillermo del Toro's visually rich and complex "Pan's Labyrinth," young Ofelia escapes inward, finding in her imagination the power to heal her real-world wounds. Challenged to create the mythical creatures and landscapes of Ofelia's fantasy, CafeFX embarked on an artistic and technical journey spanning four months of location shooting and five months of post production.

More information on the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival

SIGGRAPH 2007 will bring an estimated 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to San Diego, California, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from 5-9 August at the San Diego Convention Center. SIGGRAPH 2007 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 7-9 August 2007. More than 250 international exhibiting companies are expected. Registration for the conference and exhibition is open to the public.

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The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH sponsors SIGGRAPH 2007. ACM is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.