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Local student triumphs in international animation competition

25 February 05

Aspiring animators from around the world have been given a boost by winning prizes at the Animex Student Animation Awards, held as part of the Animex festival.  Animex is the annual celebration of animation organised by the University of Teesside.

Johan Borgstrom and Philip Askins Over 450 entries, representing 32 countries, were received, making this the biggest number of international entries yet.  Winning entrants included films from the USA, Germany and Malaysia.  The judging panel, which included Tom Martinek, from legendary special effects firm Industrial Light & Magic, and Mark Craste from Studio AKA, had the difficult task of choosing the wining films. 

Among the international winners was local student Philip Askins, 17, from Stokesley, who won two awards – the Newcomer Award for his film Ghost Story and the Webtoon Award for A Random Stickman Cartoon.

Philip, who is studying for ‘A’ Levels in Art, English Language and English Literature and hopes to study 3D animation at the University of Teesside, said:
“I went to the festival last year and found out about the Student Awards. The winning films were just amazing and made me realise how terrible I was at animation.  So after the festival I set about making some films that weren't so terrible and sent them in for the competition this year.  I’m over the moon to have won two awards.  I hoped that I would win one, but I had no idea that I would win two.  I’m thrilled.

“Ghost Story is a two-minute long film about a ghost with a lot of time on his hands, and thinks it would be great fun if he were to follow a petrified man down a corridor of his mansion. If it were a pantomime people would be screaming out ‘It's behind you!’  The Random Stickman Cartoon speaks for itself. It involves stickmen and completely random events. And just a bit of violence.”

Another winner was Johan Borgstrom, who travelled from his home in Gothenburg in Sweden to attend Animex.  He won the 3D Computer Animation for Games Award for Eon – Chapter One. 

Johan, 26, said: “I found about the Animex Awards from the Internet and I entered straight away.  This is my first time at Animex and it’s really cool.  It’s surreal in fact – there are people who work for Pixar and Dreamworks here!

“I’m really pleased to win the award and to have had the chance to show my work to people in the industry.”

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