NZ short film 'Poppy' wins at Computer Animation Festival

NZ Short film 'Poppy'

NZ short Film Poppy awarded for its innovation of motion capture and flawless facial animation. Poppy has been awarded the Computer Animation Festival’s Jury Prize ahead of the SIGGRAPH 2010 International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, which is being held in Los Angeles on the 25th – 29th July.

Poppy is a CGI drama set on France’s Western Front during World War I. Based on true events, two NZ soldiers trapped behind enemy lines find a crying baby while trying to make their way to safety. Directed by James Cunningham and produced by Paul Swadel, the film’s writer, David Coyle, is a great grandson of one of the soldiers. This is the first time a NZ film has won an award at the Computer Animation Festival.

The film was chosen from 750 submissions from around the globe, presented by both professional studios and students alike. In announcing the award, the Festival Jury said Poppy was an innovative combination of motion capture with exquisite facial animation.

Director James Cunningham said “I have attended SIGGRAPH about four times since 1998. To have something selected to screen there is a dream of mine and to win an award is phenomenal. The Jury’s acknowledgement of the hand key frame facial animation is a testament to the great actors we had to work with. Congratulations and thanks to Matt Sunderland, Paul Glover, Camille Keenan and Marek Sumich; and also to Weta Digital’s incredible motion capture team. The body movements they recorded were superb and I was so lucky to be able to work with them on Poppy.”

In all, 100 films will be shown during the Computer Animation Festival. Some of the year’s top visual effects for feature films are featured in the Computer Animation Festival including Avatar, The Last Airbender, Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia, 2012, and Alice in Wonderland.

Poppy was made in association with the Short Film Fund of the New Zealand Film Commission.

For more information on Poppy please visit the film’s website:

http://www.poppyfilm.com/index.html

To view the trailer please visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyUWxV2rY-c

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