For the fifth year in a row, we are delighted to present the selections for the Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, our online showcase for animated short premieres by student filmmakers. We like to believe that each year is our strongest year, but this year’s selections feel particularly vital, illustrating the remarkable breadth of work currently being produced by student filmmakers around the globe. For our fifth edition, we placed a renewed emphasis on selecting films that exhibit strong storytelling skills and avoid narrative cliches. Further, each of the selected films feels unique in its visual treatment, expertly using the possibilities of the animation medium to evoke an emotional reaction, whether it be laughter, shock, compassion or heartbreak.

From over 280 entries, we selected 9 films. German students have a big presence with three shorts. Plenty of schools are represented for the first time in the festival: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and Kunsthochschule Kassel in Germany, Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Belgium, Bezalel Academy of the Arts in Israel, and University for the Creative Arts Farnham in the United Kingdom.

Also notable, this year we have more CG films in the festival than ever before, with three shorts made entirely with computer-generated imagery, and a fourth film created with mixed-media techniques including CGI. It’s quite exciting to see students pushing beyond generic studio CG styles and applying more personal approaches to the technique.

Each of the nine films selected will receive a $700 (US) prize. Additionally, a grand prize winner will receive a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generous support of our Presenting Sponsor JibJab, a company that has shown consistent commitment to supporting young and emerging talent. The Surface Pro is courtesy of our new award sponsor Microsoft.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their work and congratulations to the selected films. The films will begin premiering on Cartoon Brew in July. Here are the 2014 selections:

My Big Brother
Directed by Jason Rayner
School: Savannah College of Art and Design (USA)
Synopsis: What if your older brother was a giant? My Big Brother explores the reflections of a boy sharing a room with his twenty-foot tall brother.
Running time: 2 min 30 s

Epilogue to a Breakup
Directed by Guy Elnathan
School: Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Israel)
Synopsis: An animated diary. After a harsh breakup, our hero, Guy, decides to leave it all and fly to New Zealand hoping to find true love. However, he must first defeat his inner demons before he can put the past behind him.
Running time: 9 min 30 s

Ophelia: Love & Privacy_Settings
Directed by Bin-Han To
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
Synopsis: What if everybody could read your thoughts and knew all your most inner wishes and desires? And what if, at the same time, you were just a regular guy trying to find a woman? That’s the problem of Hubert. Anyone can clearly read his thoughts in a speech balloon floating above his head…but how will the girls react? A romantic comedy about “The End of Privacy.”
Running time: 3 min 40 s

Journey of Two
Directed by Joshua Mulligan
School: College for Creative Studies (USA)
Synopsis: Two best friends wake up and start the day.
Running time: 3 min 30 s

A Hedgehog’s Visit
Directed by Kariem Saleh
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
Synopsis: A grumpy hedgehog trying to confess his love.Will he be able to overcome his insecurities?
Running time: 5 min 30 s

Grandma (Oma)
Directed by Karolien Raeymaekers
School: Royal Academy of Fine Arts/KASK (Belgium)
Synopsis: A girl has to conquer her fear for her grandma who is deathly ill.
Running time: 7 min 30 s

Final Serving (Nachschlag)
Directed by Florian Maubach
School: Kunsthochschule Kassel (Germany)
Synopsis: Surrounded by nothingness, a knight lives with his wife in a small house. Every day he must defend their home against attacks of other knights. What he gets as reward is love and a satisfying meal.
Running time: 4 min 15 s

Mr. Piggy Dies in 25 Dimensions
Directed by Josh Sehnert
School: Rhode Island School of Design (USA)
Synopsis: Join Mr. Piggy on an adventure through time and space. Please wear 25-D glasses.
Running time: 16 min

Directed by Remus Buznea and Kyriaki Kyriakou
School: University for the Creative Arts Farnham (UK)
Synopsis: A series of romantically unfortunate twentysomethings are interviewed, describing in vivid detail their expectations as they search for the ideal partner.
Running time: 3 min 45 s