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A five-minute short film produced by the Media Design School Auckland has won Best Animated Film at the 2016 Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival in San Diego.

Accidents, Blunders & Calamities, which was selected by a jury that included Rotten Tomatoes ed Matt Atchity, and stars 30 CGI animals that were meticulously crafted and killed by 44 third-year Bachelor of Art & Design students.

The film uses real-life footage blended with animation, including a posse of possums almost as scary as those in Saatchi’s Toyota ads.

“To get a film that was made at a school in New Zealand selected to be in competition at Comic-Con is very impressive,” said MDS Bachelor of Art & Design lecturer James Cunningham, himself an award-winning director.

“The students who worked on Accidents, Blunders & Calamities are super pumped by this result. Comic-Con is such a massive cultural event and to get this sort of recognition means a lot. I’m super proud of the work everyone did on this.”

The students who worked on Accidents, Blunders & Calamities have since graduated from the school, and many are working in the film industry both in New Zealand and overseas.

“Results such as this further contribute to Media Design School’s international reputation as one of the top three schools to provide VFX and 3D Animation qualifications globally,” said MDS course leader Steve Dorner.

“I am exceptionally proud of James Cunningham and all of the faculty and students who contributed to the production of Accidents, Blunders & Calamities.”

Accidents, Blunders & Calamities has already won a People’s Choice Award at NZ’s Show Me Shorts festival. It has won at the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, and earlier this year screened at the SXSW Film Festival.

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