Student Film Competition Selection Committee decided to award Animafest Zagreb 2018 Best Animation School to Californian Institute of the Arts – CalArts.
Concieved by Walt Disney and established in 1961. through the merger of two existing L.A. schools for art (Chouinard Art Institute) and music (Los Angeles Conservatory of Music), CalArts, with almost 1500 students, is the first degree-granting institution of higher learning in the United States created specifically for students of both the visual and performing arts. Chuck Jones and Henry Mancini took part in its founding while its faculty included iconic figures such as Nam June Paik and Ravi Shankar.
A short documentary about CalArts can be found at this link: https://calarts.edu/about/institute/history.
As part of its special programme, Animafest 2018 will feature a retrospective of best works from CalArts, the school that submitted nine films for this year's edition of the festival – two of them are featured in Student Films Competition (Heart Chakra by Angela Stempel and The Northeast Kingdom by Alan Jennings that share a digital 2d animation technique and a sarcastic treatment of the search for spirituality theme), and one in the World Panorama programme (Blind Mice by Nicholas D'Agostino).
After taking into account all of the submitted student films, the Selection Committee that featured Daniel Šuljić, Petra Balekić and Darko Masnec concluded that CalArts: „encourages diversity of techniques and originality in its student's approach and selection of themes.
Submitted CalArts films featured both narrative and experimental works, analogue and digital, as well as films made with mixed techniques. Furthermore, CalArts deserves the award for its continuous quality throughout almost six decades in which it nurtured an approach to animated films as complete audiovisual works and encouraged cooperation from students of various disciplines in the process of its creation.“