BYU’s highly esteemed Center for Animation became even more reputable when the short film “Grendel,” directed and produced by BYU animation students, recently won its sixth Student Academy Award.
This year, the Student Academy Awards competition received a total of 1,615 entries from 255 domestic and 105 international colleges and universities. Only 16 entries received an award.
Student director Kalee McCollaum and student producer Austin Rodriguez worked with approximately 40 students to make this film a reality. Thousands of hours went into the project which was supervised by professors Kelly Loosli and R. Brent Adams.
The story of “Grendel” is a reverse telling of the classic Beowulf tale where Grendel, the friendly monster in the film, 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.