BYU student film featured at the world’s largest children’s film festival
November 17, 2021 12:00 AM
The work of the BYU Center for Animation continues to receive national recognition. A short film named “Salt,” directed and produced by BYU students, was recently screened at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival — the oldest film festival in the country and the largest in the world.
On a picturesque seaside knoll, a peaceful dragon is mowing his lawn when Vikings arrive in the bay below. Eager to greet them, the monster brings homemade cookies. But his new neighbors aren’t having it. So begins the 8-minute BYU student animation Grendel, which won gold at the 46th Annual Student Academy Awards. Here student director Kalee S. McCollaum (BA ’18) shares the backstory. How did the story of Grendel get chosen? Grendel, a twist on the Beowulf legend, was originally pitched in storyboard form by animation student Erik K. Hansen (BA ’18). As he went through the slides and added explanations to the visuals, we were all laughing and felt the idea had a good amount of heart and potential. Read the entire Q&A in BYU Magazine's Winter 2020 issue.
https://vimeo.com/295876694 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. Read more at news.byu.edu, sltrib.com or usatoday.com