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CalArts’ experimental ethos meets Slamdances’ independent edge

The War Profiteers, a short film by CalArts Experimental
Animation student Benjamin Markus. Photo: courtesy of the

12 filmmakers in the 2013 festival are students or alumni of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Indiewire picks ‘Diamond on Vinyl,’ directed by CalArts’ JR Hughto, as one of Slamdance’s five breakout films.

Meanwhile at Sundance: the LA Weekly cites CalArts alumni Yung Jake as the "breakout art star" of the festival.

What is it about CalArts? This year, an unprecedented 12 filmmakers at the Slamdance Film Festival—seven graduates and six current students—are from Southern California’s acclaimed California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Of these filmmakers, CalArts’ School of Film/Video’s Experimental Animation Program is represented by eight alumni and current students, followed by four films from Film Directing Program alumni.  In addition, the Sundance Film Festival is screening films by four “CalArtians.” For more information go to CalArts' festival website.

“CalArts’ extraordinary showing at Slamdance, Sundance and other festivals reflects the uniquely inventive spirit of CalArts trained filmmakers and the faculty who mentor them,” said School of Film/Video Dean Steve Anker. “The level of achievement in our school has always been high, but in recent years, we’ve received more major awards and recognition at festivals and in museums than ever before. Our nearly 400 students represent the widest spectrum of animation, dramatic, documentary and experimental filmmaking of any school in the country, and each student maintains a fierce independence and an uncompromising commitment to his or her personal voice. “

Notably, the eight festival selections from CalArts’ Experimental Animation Program demonstrate the combination of aesthetic sophistication and technical proficiency that makes the program unique. “Our vibrant, eclectic program couldn’t be better presented than with these works—clearly reflecting how our educational model is designed to give independent and adventurous artists the skills to realize their personal visions," said program director Kirsten Winter.

“CalArtian” filmmakers at the 2013 Slamdance Festival:

Film Directing Program
J.R. Hughto, Diamond on Vinyl, Beyond Program
Rebecca Sgan-Cohen, A Time in A Dark Cloud, Live Action Shorts Program
Ian Samuels, Caterwaul, Live Action Shorts Program
Kate Marks, Pearl was Here, Live Action Shorts Program
Benjamin Markus, The War Profiteers, Anarchy Program

Experimental Animation Program
Einar Baldvin (Arnason), Baboon, Animation Shorts Program
Calvin Frederick, Bermuda, Animation Shorts Program
Ethan Clarke, Drifters, Animation Shorts Program
Jose Quique Rivera, El Delirio Del Pez Leon, Animation Shorts Program
Meejin Hong, Sugarcoat, Animation Shorts Program
Sean Buckelew, The Jennings Account, Live Action Shorts Program
Grace Nayoon Rhee, Triangle, Live Action Shorts Program

CalArts alumni at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Song E. Kim, Bite of the Tail, Animation Spotlight Program
Pendelton Ward, Thank You, Animation Spotlight Program
Eliza Hittman, It Felt Like Love, Next Program
Yung Jake, aka Jake Patterson, E.m-bed.de/d, Datamosh, and Augmented Real, New Frontiers Program

Last edited by mcrane on Jan 18, 2013
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