Press Release: Ludwigsburg, 16.02.2023
The production A CALLING. FROM THE DESERT. TO THE SEA by the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg wins the VES Award 2023 in the category "Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project". Students of the Animationsinstitut created the visual effects (VFX) of the short film. Mario Bertsch (VFX Supervisor), Max Pollmann (VFX Producer), Lukas Löffler (Compositing Lead), and Till Sander-Titgemeyer (Creature Lead) accepted the award last night in Los Angeles on behalf of the entire team.
A CALLING. FROM THE DESERT. TO THE SEA tells the story of the sisters Ahlam and Yasmin, who defy the set boundaries and customs of their father. In order to reach a mystical sea, however, they first must face an enemy from within.
The visual effects team, which also includes Pascal Schober (Technical Director), Lukas Kapp (Rigging TD) and Lennard Fricke (VFX Producer), created the monster "The Ghoul" for the film. It took over two years to design the computer-animated creature, for which the team drew inspiration from the anatomy of humans, ostriches, caimans and dinosaurs. In addition, the students simulated the monster's hair, spit and muscles.
The VFX team particularly praises the spirit within the project team: "Not only did we achieve our goal of seamlessly integrating a photorealistic creature into the film, but we are also incredibly happy to have worked with so many talented VFX artists. Of course, this holds true for the fantastic main production team around director Murad Abu Eisheh and producer Malin Krüger as well.”
Murad Abu Eisheh (Writer and Director), winner of the Student Academy Award in Gold, adds: "In this film, I wanted to create a mix of reality and fantasy that usually only exists in a child's imagination. In doing so, I wanted to deal with my own experiences growing up in a society that tries to control your choices and free will from a young age."
The excitement at the Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg is obviously enormous. Professor Juri Stanossek, senior lecturer for Visual Effects at the Animationsinstitut, emphasizes: "The VES Award is highly deserved. Congratulations to a great team that stands out for its excellent synergy, diligence, and talent."
The Visual Effects Society (VES) is an association of over 4000 experts from the visual effects industry. The VES Awards are considered the most important award in the VFX sector after the Oscars.
With the triumph of A CALLING. FROM THE DESERT. TO THE SEA, a total of ten productions with the direct involvement of the Animationsinstitut have now won a VES Award. The Animationsinstitut and the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg congratulate the entire team on this great success.
Take a look at the VFX breakdown of the film.