BYU’s Animation won its 6th Academy Award

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PROVO — BYU’S Center for Animation now has six Academy Awards on their shelf. The Center for Animation became even more reputable with their Academy Award win for the short film “Grendel.”

This year, there were a total of 1,615 entries from 255 domestic and 105 international colleges and universities. BYU was one of the 16 entries that received an award.

The story of “Grendel” is a twist on the popular tale of Beowulf. The film is from the perspective of Grendel the dragon, the friendly monster in the film, who is joined by rowdy Viking neighbors who harass him. He slowly starts to retaliate until he realizes he’s the one who has become the monster. This realization spikes a change in character as he chooses to help save the Vikings from other creatures.

The film was directed by Kalee McCollaym and produced by Austin Rodriguez, both students at Brigham Young University. Thousands of hours went into the project which was supervised by professors Kelly Loosli and R. Brent Adams.

“It’s just this long process, and when you win, the floodgates open in terms of interest of the students and the program. It is so important for us to do this. We know the doors that will be opened for these students who have worked so hard,” said R. Brent Adams.

McCollaym and Rodriguez both have been offered internship opportunities at Pixar. 

“So Kalee, the director, applied to Pixar and they called me up and they said, ‘We would really love to have Kalee on an internship,’ but she would be bored. She is already better than this internship. How do you tell someone they are too good for Pixar?,” said R. Brent Adams.

McCollaym is currently working at Disney and Rodriguez is at Pixar.

If you would like to watch the short film, you can visit animation.byu.edu.

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