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SVA Alumnus Carlos Saldanha Earns an Academy Award Nomination for 'Ferdinand'

Academy Awards

SVA has a new Academy Award nominee among its ranks. This morning the 2018 Oscar nominations were announced and Carlos Saldanha (MFA 1993 Computer Art) and his animated film, Ferdinand, were nominated in the Animated Feature Film category. An adaptation of the beloved and classic children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, the Blue Sky Studios-produced 3D film tells the tale of a pacifist bull who refuses to participate in local bullfights but is forced to face off against a world champion matador. Saldanha’s well-loved cartoon has been a big hit this past year and has grossed $235.9 million worldwide.

His previous directorial efforts include Ice Age and several installments of the popular animated franchise, Rio and its two subsequent sequels, Gone Nutty and more.

“I love stories that have a good message and I love to be able to entertain the audience while at the same time creating an emotional thread that people also feel connected to,” Carlos told SVA last month. “Animals or non-animals, for me the bigger question was always: Is this good character, is this a good story to tell? That's where I went, and coincidentally most of those protagonists were animals. In animation you can make something come to life, you can make an animal talk, and it crosses the emotional boundaries of characters in storytelling. I don't know if it's coincidental, but I gravitate towards these stories.”

Congratulations are also in order to SVA Social Doc MFA faculty J.T. Takagi the sound recordist on Strong Island nominated for Best Documentary Feature. Director Craig Gillespie’s (BFA 1989 Media Arts) I, Tonya earned three nominations including Actress in a Leading Role, Actress in a Supporting Role and Film Editing. SVA alumni also worked on Pixar’s Coco, also nominated for Animated Feature Film, including supervising animator Gini Cruz Santos (MFA 1996 Computer Art), technical director JD Gardner (BFA 2015 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), animator MontaQue Ruffin (BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), set modeler Christina Faraj (BFA 2016 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) and composer Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film and Video).

Additionally, CG modeler Ryan Chong (BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) and FX artist Aditi Khosla (BFA 2014 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) worked on The Shape of Water, nominated for 13 Oscars; pipeline technical director Chris DeVito (BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), lighting artist Da Suel Kim (BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) and again, Ryan Chong worked on Mudbound; Nitant Karnik (BFA 2005 Computer Art) was a compositor on War of the Planet of the Apes (nominated for Visual Effects) and Jessica Monteiro (BFA 2010 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) was the technical director on Lou, Pixar’s short nominated in the Short Film (Animated) category.

Saldanha’s Ferdinand also features plenty of SVA alumni including fur technical director Allison Botkin (MFA 2014 Computer Art and BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects faculty), senior FX technical director Matt Roach (BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects faculty), character development supervisor Sabine Heller (MFA 2006 Computer Art and Computer Art and BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects faculty), modeler Jonathan Lin (BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects and BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects faculty), crowd technical director Kevin Edzenga (BFA 2009 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) and Jennifer Hurler (MFA 2014 Computer Art).

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2017 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California at 8:00pm. EST on March 4, 2018. Tune in to see if Carlos or any SVA-related alumnus or faculty win big.

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