Students win Best Animation Short at 51st Nashville Film Festival

Animation students Tyler Aldridge, Ngoc Chi Nguyen, and Virginia Lake Petty took home the prize for best Tennessee student short at the 51st annual Nashville Film Festival.

The animated short film “Cat Burglar” was created by the trio in their animation capstone classes.

“The work our students do is so intense and time-consuming it takes two courses to do it. They develop the entire film from the idea, through preproduction, production and postproduction,” said Kevin McNulty, associate professor in animation.

M said an opportunity like the Nashville Film Festival allows students to get their work seen by thousands of people. “When students get their films accepted into film festivals, like the Nashville Film Festival, it’s an endorsement from industry professionals. It’s a huge confidence builder for the students, and it also makes them more sellable in the job market.”

MTSU’s Bachelor of Science degree in Animation helps students learn how to bring their ideas to life on the screen. Students begin with traditional art and animation techniques and progress through advanced digital tools and techniques, and theory used by major animation studios for films, television, video games, and more. This program provides students the opportunity to prepare for careers in 3-D animation, 2-D animation, motion graphics, and special visual effects. 

MTSU’s Animation program gives students hands-on opportunities from their first semester. In addition to supplemental classes, students take a six-semester sequence of courses (fall and spring) focused in 3D animation. The final two semesters of the six-semester sequence culminate in a two-semester capstone experience in which each student creates a project of their own design to serve as a primary item in their creative portfolios. 

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