Drama hits home for a family of flatware. A young lifeguard ponders a bucolic escape from a crowded city. 3-D printing puts a new spin on an old fashioned zoetrope. New York City's iconic spaces are transformed through cinematography and sound. These were just some of the creative machinations at play in the films, animations, and multimedia projects shown at the annual NYIT Animation and Film Festival in May.
Hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, this year’s festival featured more than 60 projects by communication arts and fine arts students from Manhattan, Old Westbury, and Beijing. Students screened their work to a crowd of nearly 200 friends and family at NYIT Auditorium on Broadway as well as a jury of industry professionals, who ultimately chose six winning projects. James Rockford, an undergraduate student in Communication Arts, won Best of Show (Film) for Pool Boy, while Jia Wang (M.F.A. ’16) won Best of Show (Animation) for Zoedream. (Story continues below.)
Wang’s project, a 3-D printed zoetrope, was one of three multimedia installations at this year’s festival. “Jia’s project was really quite groundbreaking for contemporary animation,” says Terry Nauheim, associate professor and chair of the Department of Fine Arts. “She found a way to use this old school technology and bring it into this modern format of 3-D printing and animation.”
In general, the use of multimedia and technology helped set this year apart from previous festivals. Art and technology students Yifeng Miao and Duo Wang (M.F.A. ’16) submitted a virtual reality project, while other students made use of NYIT’s robust technical offerings, including the HIVE (Home of Innovation, Visualization, and Exploration) in Manhattan and motion capture studio in Old Westbury. “Part of what made this year so dynamic is that the students really pushed their use of technology, and it paid off,” says Nauheim.
The event was also global in scope. Assistant Professor Benjamin Poynter and students representing NYIT’s M.F.A. program offered with the Communication University of China (CUC) submitted projects including an animated book and a wearable costume parade.
In addition to checking out the films and installations, the crowd enjoyed refreshments and a live DJ. Remarks were given by Jim Simon, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dena Winokur, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication Arts, Manhattan; Donald Fizzinoglia, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Arts, Old Westbury; and Michael Hosenfeld, associate professor of Fine Arts.
The festival, which was co-chaired by Ashley Gerst, adjunct professor of Fine Arts, and Paul Demonte, adjunct professor of Communication Arts, is an excellent opportunity for students to get a real feel for showing their work to an audience—as well as critics. This year’s jury included John Peter Didato (director, producer, and editor at Sesame Workshop), Josh Apter (owner of Manhattan Edit Workshop), John Mattiuzzi (freelance filmmaker and visual effects filmmaker), and Jasper Lin (computer artist).
By Julie Godsoe