Mirage was among the most outstanding thesis films from the 2013 class of the School of Visual Arts. It’s about a young Inuit boy and his dog who go out into the bleak Arctic wilderness to fish, only to discover strange happenings lurking beneath the frozen waters.

The film was a joint effort between Iker Maidagan, who came up with the story and did the layouts, and Dana Terrace, who designed and animated the characters. Working as a team, they were able to focus on their artistic strengths and apply them to a single project. Everything, from story concept to animation to final compositing, and all the steps in-between, are flawlessly executed.

Knowing both Iker and Dana personally from my time attending SVA, I can say that they both have a very strong understanding of the process, not just as animators, but as filmmakers and storytellers. I don’t think I have ever seen a student film that feels as complete and polished as a studio-produced short, but this one certainly comes close, if not surpassing it.

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