From Animation Schools to Red Carpets: Wishing Box Makes the Film Fest Circuit

There’s so much to gain from animation schools. Not only can students learn and develop technical skills, they can also find opportunities for professional success. Take for example Wishing Box, a student project from Academy of Art’s School of Animation & VFX program that’s now turning heads in film festivals.

About Wishing Box

Wishing Box was created through teamwork between students with different focuses, such as lighting, character animation, and more. Directed by alumna Lizzie Zhang, it tells the tale of a pirate and a monkey who discover a treasure chest that gives them an endless supply of their greatest desires.

It won its first student award at the School of Animation’s 2017 Spring Awards, an event meant to honor the best in student work. Afterward, it earned several industry awards, including Best Animation at the Accolade Global Film Competition and Breck Film Festival.

The cherry on top of the film’s journey so far, however, is its qualification for the 2019 Oscars nomations. While the film did not officially get a nomination nod from the Academy Awards, the mere fact that it was quality-verified–which meant that it was good enough to get a shot at being nominated–is a feat all on its own.


Behind the Scenes at the Academy

Wishing Box is just one example of the amazing work that students can make in the School of Animation & VFX’s StudioX program. In StudioX, faculty members mentor students as they gain experience by working on real films and video games. Students leave the program ready for real-world VFX and animation production after graduation. Moreover, they get to use the latest technology and software, enhancing the quality of their art. Having the chance to build their own animation portfolio is a huge plus as well.

Other student films to come out of StudioX include Soar, the thesis project of Academy alumna Alyce Tzue. Like Wishing Box, Soar won several awards, such as the 2015 Gold Medal Student Academy Award and Palm Springs International ShortFest. It also earned Oscar-quality verification for the 2016 Oscars.

Those who missed screenings of Wishing Box will have a second chance to catch it this upcoming spring. Virgin Airlines and Alaska Airlines will be showing the film on flights from March 1, 2019 through May 31, 2019.

Interested in what other Academy alumni have worked on? Visit our student awards page to read their stories, see what they have to say, and view their work.

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