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Animation Show of Shows coming to DSU

October 4, 2018

For the first time in the city of Madison and at Dakota State University, the Animation Show of Shows will be presented for students and the community on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in The Beacom Institute of Technology.

The Animation Show of Shows is an annual compilation of the year’s best animated shorts shown around the world at animation festivals curated to inspire others. The showcasing was created 19 years ago by Ron Diamond, founder of Acme Filmworks, Inc. and producer. The 16 videos that will be shown feature 2D and 3D animation, multi-international and women film makers, offering a diversity of voices.

The local event has been arranged by Ryan English, assistant professor of digital arts and design. English has been teaching at DSU for four years, but prior to that spent over 11 years in the visual effects and animation industry.

To bring the Animation Show of Shows to Dakota State University, English received an innovation grant through the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The event will offer community engagement and academics of film animation to attendees.

“It’s going to be fun,” English said. “It will be the first time we’re going to have something like this in Madison.”

Diamond will introduce the show through Skype at the beginning of the evening.

“Talking with Mr. Diamond, the curator, he hand-selected these films that he believes will have a social impact as well,” English said. “Animation is a very kid-friendly interface, but at the same time it tackles some very serious ideas.”

For example, “Finding Nemo” focuses on the pollution of the ocean, “Wall-E” focuses on the destruction of earth and over consumption, and even the 1942 film “Bambi” focused on the destruction of habitat and killing of baby animals, English shared.

“There’s a great social context that people don’t always see when they see animation – thoughtful animation,” he said. “There’s always a story to be told and seeing different people’s stories will help open our hearts and minds.”

The Animation Show of Shows is often shown by companies like Google, Yahoo, Pixar, Disney and Sony to creatively inspire their employees.

English first saw the Animation Show of Shows when he was an undergrad at The Ohio State University. He found the experience inspirational, unexpected, and thought-provoking, something he hopes carries over to the audience at DSU.

“I want it to be a catalyst for thought,” he said.

English hopes to screen the Animation Show of Shows next year as well.

“I hope that it becomes something that can be a reoccurring thing,” he said. “I’m trying to make this a community thing. I want the community to be involved and I want the community to know that DSU is doing things like animation.”