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In an extraordinary triumph for student filmmakers, the remarkable animated short film Conej Steps Out, developed by students of DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao, has achieved a prestigious nomination at the illustrious Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2023. This esteemed recognition is a testament to the exceptional talent and dedication displayed by the students and the creative minds behind the film. A lot of anticipation rested on this recognition as the film was previously nominated at a variety of festivals including the 2023 Festival de Malaga, the 2023 PSIAF Palm Springs International Animation Festival, the 76th Cannes Film Festival, and the Marché du Film. The film also won a Student Distinction Recognition at the 2023 Athens Animfest.

Posters for Conej Steps Out created by the team

The Annecy Festival: A Celebration of Animation

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival, held annually in Annecy, France, is widely regarded as the world’s most renowned and prestigious festival dedicated to the art of animation. Since its inception in 1960, the festival has been a catalyst for showcasing and honoring exceptional animated works from around the globe. Annecy has become a revered platform where filmmakers, industry professionals, and animation enthusiasts gather to celebrate the creativity, innovation, and storytelling prowess that animation offers.

Being selected as a nominee at the Annecy Festival is an extraordinary achievement, particularly for emerging talent. The festival’s highly competitive selection process ensures that only the most exceptional and compelling animated works make it to the esteemed lineup. Each year, thousands of filmmakers from all corners of the world submit their creations, vying for the opportunity to be showcased on the global stage. To be among the chosen few is a testament to the artistic and technical merit of the film and a recognition of the talent and hard work invested by the filmmakers.

The team’s picture at Annecy Festival 2023

The Creative Minds Behind Conej Steps Out

Conej Steps Out owes its success to the remarkable talents of the students from DigiPen Europe-Bilbao’s BFA in Digital Art and Animation program, who poured their creativity and expertise into bringing this captivating short film to life. The following individuals played integral roles in the creation of the film:

  • Pablo Rio - Director. Under his visionary leadership, the film’s story and vision were expertly translated onto the screen.
  • Aitor Olano - Scriptwriter, Storyboard Artist, and Background Designer. Aitor’s multifaceted contributions ensured a compelling narrative, meticulous planning, and immersive visual environments.
  • Leyre Zapata - Scriptwriter, Storyboard Artist, and Animator. Leyre’s exceptional skills in scriptwriting and animation added depth and life to the characters, enriching their journey.

Collaborations that Brought Magic to Conej Steps Out

To ensure that every aspect of the film was executed with utmost precision and creativity, DigiPen Europe-Bilbao partnered with Musikene, the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country, to provide enriched music and sound quality for films and other digital media. The following individuals from Musikene were involved in the production of this film:

  • Jordi Acusa - Music
  • Juanan Ros - Sound Design
  • Iñigo Lopez - Voice Acting

The short-film also features professional voice dubbing from voice actor Rosa Romay, and the backgrounds from collaborating artist Bruno Santoro.

Horizontal poster of Conej Steps Out created by the teamThe nomination of Conej Steps Out at the prestigious Annecy Festival is a momentous accomplishment for the students of DigiPen Europe-Bilbao and the talented individuals who contributed to its creation. This recognition showcases their artistic abilities, technical expertise, and storytelling prowess, propelling them into the spotlight of the animation industry. Their achievement at Annecy not only marks a significant milestone in their creative journey but also serves as an inspiration to aspiring animators worldwide. With their exceptional talents and the recognition received at Annecy, the future holds boundless possibilities for these emerging filmmakers as they continue to make their mark on the world of animation.