Sixty40 Proto-Ninja Award Announced

10 March, 2010 (10:09) | Animation

We’re starting up an award to celebrate hot young animators working in all media and rewarding them with moola, mentorship and screening at the Sydney International Film Festival. Here’s the press release.


With the second UTS: Sydney International Animation Festival set to launch in Sydney on 24 September 2010, emerging animators have a chance to get a leg up in the industry through the Sixty40 Proto-Ninja Award.

The Sixty40 Proto-Ninja Award will consist of $999.99 cash plus a two-month mentorship with Sixty40, a design and animation company that combines the love of creativity with the reality of commercial production.

Entrants must create a new work of between 40 and 60 seconds length, which follows the theme “Underdog”.

Deadline for entries is 6th August 2010.

“The focus of the entry should be on telling a story that strikes an emotional chord around the theme of the underdog,” said Sixty40’s Animation Director Matt Taylor. “So, we’re looking for films that are funny, sad, inspirational or evoke some other emotional response.”

Production techniques used are completely open and could include stop-frame, traditional 2D, motion graphics, 3D, photography, puppetry, film or video. The result must ensure a compelling experience for the viewer rather than just a display of technical prowess.

“We use the term ‘ninja’ to signify an animator or designer with superior skills, vision and passion who can be relied on to not only pull their own weight in a studio but also to bring fresh unique qualities to their work. A ‘proto-ninja’ is a ninja-in-the-making who has not yet had the chance to unleash their talents on the world. The mentorship will give the winner time, resources and guidance to help them develop their film, experience and secret powers on their path towards full Ninja-dom” continues Taylor.

Ten finalists will be screened and the winner announced at the opening night of the UTS: Sydney International Animation Festival, Friday 24 September, 2010. As well, the ten finalists will have their work streamed from the Proto-Ninja award website for a period of 12 months or until the 2011 winner is announced.

In 2010 the Festival will showcase sessions such as the Australian Panorama, SIGGRAPH Highlights and the wonderfully twisted Late Night Bizarre, along with a new batch of animation from France, the US, UK and China to mention a few. After the success of last year’s international guest speakers Clare Kitson, former commissioning editor for the UK’s Channel 4, and Oscar winning Canadian animator Chris Landreth, 2010 will continue to provide access to the movers and shakers of the global animation industry.

Full details about the competition are available at