Media Design School Short Film Takes Prize for Best Animated Film at the 2016 Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival

Described as the world’s biggest celebration of entertainment and popular culture, Comic-Con International is held over four days in San Diego, California, and attracts people from all over the world. The film festival has been an integral part of Comic-Con for the past 17 years.

The film, “Accidents, Blunders and Calamities,” produced by a group of Media Design School (MDS) students, was selected as the CCI-IFF Best Animation winner by a panel of internationally recognized judges including Matt Atchity, the Editor-in- Chief of Rotten Tomatoes; Eric Jacobus, the 2015 CCI-IFF winner for Best Action/Adventure film; and Nick Murphy of Spoon Pictures. 

Bachelor of Art and Design Senior Lecturer and award-winning director James Cunningham says that a win at the CCI-IFF offers an invaluable opportunity for his student’s work to garner further recognition overseas. “I am pretty amazed at getting this award,” says Cunningham. “To get a film that was made at a school in New Zealand selected to be in competition at Comic-Con is very impressive, but to beat all the other animations is a real feat.”

“The students who worked on ‘Accidents, Blunders and Calamities’ are super pumped by this result. Comic-Con is such a massive cultural event and to get this sort of recognition means a lot. I’m very proud of the work everyone did on this,”

says Cunningham. 

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

Whilst “Accidents, Blunders and Calamities” is Cunningham’s first short film to win an award at CCI-IFF, one of his previous short films, Over the Moon, was shown at CCI-IFF in 2014.

Bachelor of Art and Design Programme Leader Steve Dorner says that this result is indicative of the exceptional work produced by Media Design School’s Bachelor of Art and Design students.

“I am exceptionally proud of James Cunningham and all of the faculty and students who contributed to the production of ‘Accidents, Blunders and Calamities,’” Dorner said. “Results such as this further contribute to Media Design School’s international reputation as one of the top three schools to provide VFX and 3D Animation qualifications globally.”

“Accidents, Blunders and Calamities” has already won a number of accolades and awards including the People’s Choice Award and the DEGNZ Best Editor Award at New Zealand’s only Academy Awards accredited film festival, Show Me Shorts. It has also picked up prizes at the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film; BCN Sports Film Festival; and has previously screened at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.