By Christina Cleveland

CLEMSON — A film produced in Clemson University’s digital production arts program was named Best Animated Film at the Greenville International Film Festival.

The film, “Wycinanki” and is the story about digital production arts student Irena Rindos’ mother in Poland who finds three animals and rescues them. The word “wycinanki” means paper cutting, which is a traditional Polish art.

“We looked for different art styles but the art of paper cutting looked the most compelling,” Rindos said. “It’s really colorful and there are a lot of different layers of paper. We decided to go with that and eventually that became the name of the film as well.”

“Wycinanki,” which runs 3:18 minutes, and was animated by graduate students Ashwin Bangalore, Cory Buckley, Dan McCoy, Rindos and Tony Liu.

“Wycinanki” also was nominated in the Best Foreign Film category.

In addition to winning at the Greenville International Film Festival, the film won Best Narrative at the North Carolina Family Film Festival.

The animated film was born out of the production program and what Buckley calls the “backbone” of digital production arts. Each semester a studio course is offered through the program, and for an entire year the students work on an animated film from start to finish, which includes story boarding, modeling and compositing.

The program has submitted its films to other major festivals like the SIGGRAPH Animated Film Festival, which is a part of the world’s largest computer graphics conference. It has also been accepted at other film festivals across the U.S., including the REDCAT Children’s International Film Festival in Los Angeles, Calif.

“I’m glad that we were so successful with this film because it will really help get our name out,” Buckley said. “It’s a really small program and we’re trying to grow and we’re able to compete with the best, which is really good for us.”

Around 30 people are enrolled in the two-year graduate program, which is lead by industry professionals like program director Jerry Tessendorf, an Academy Award-winning graphics scientist. Some of its graduates have worked for Rhythm and Hues, Pixar and DreamWorks.