Two acclaimed short films from Media Design School have gone on to win double accolades at the 2011 Honolulu Film Awards – which recognises outstanding achievement in independent filmmaking globally.
Award-winning filmmaker and Media Design School 3D course leader James Cunningham won Best Director for Das Tub, while Time for Change was awarded the Gold Kahuna Award for Best Animation.
The school's Advanced 3D students - Rupert Ashton, Priyan Jayamaha, Jonathan Hagan, Andrew Junying Xu and Kirsten Dale Pretorius, worked on all the CGI graphics and visual effects for both Das Tub and Time for Change.
"I'm overwhelmed by this fantastic news, it really pays tribute to the achievements of our entire department" says Cunningham. "Media Design School's 3D courses are unique in that students actually have a chance to work with the best in the industry while they are still studying, building up their contacts and networking at the same time. As you can see from Das Tub and Time for Change, the results are pure gold…in this case, Honolulu gold!"
3D tutor Leon Woud, who co-produced both films with Advanced 3D tutor Oliver Hilbert, says that the students' level of maturity and technical prowess really helped raise the bar.
"I think when people are watching these films, they can forget that all this motion picture quality CGI is done by students. We were also working with some highly regarded NZ actors, which put that extra element of pressure on us to make sure the final product was as polished as possible. The students practically lived at the school while finishing these films and based on the results, I'd definitely say it was worth it. The stylistic rendering, composition and edit on both films really visually popped," says Woud.
The double win are not the first accolades of the New Year for both films. Das Tub is also a finalist at the Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado and was a student finalist for the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards in LA early this year. Time for Change was also a VES Awards finalist and has been selected to screen at the Athens International Film Festival in the US in late April.
Awards will be presented during the awards ceremony dinner on May 27 at the top floor of the Illikai Hotel & Suites in Honolulu.