BU students have been invited to take part in a sustainability-themed animation jam ahead of this year’s BFX Festival, with mentors from leading visual effects and animation studios providing support to participants.

The 2022 BFX East Jam, which will be themed around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, will feature industry mentors from MPC Film, The Mill, DNEG, SIGGRAPH London, and EPIC Games who will offer constructive feedback to entrants to support the development of their submissions.

Oleg Fryazinov, Principal Academic in Computer Animation and BFX organiser, said: “Game jams are common for gaming courses in universities, but animation jams and other short competitions are quite rare. The students not only gain valuable feedback from industry mentors developing their professional portfolio and showreel, but also create memories within their community.”

BU students who register will have three weeks to create an artefact within the theme and benefit from two, two-hour Zoom sessions with industry mentors. Support this year comes from Saga Alayyoubi of EPIC Games, Kate Gabriel of The Mill, Boyan Georgiev from DNEG, and Sian Warren of MPC Film. Kate and Boyan also represent Siggraph London, a non-profit, volunteer organisation for animators.

Boyan Georgiev, who is mentoring students in the lighting and rendering category, highlights the opportunity for entrants to bring their creativity and uniqueness in interpreting the brief. He said: “Everyone sees the world a little differently, so we should all embrace that.”

As a core value of BU, sustainability has been selected by the BU Animation Society as the theme of this year’s jam, specifically the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 2022 entrants will be creating works with the overarching theme Life on Land, which has been split into three separate categories: Deforestation for the modelling and texturing category, Extinction for lighting and rendering, and Invasive Species for real-time art.

Emma Fogarasi, president of the BU Animation Society and final year BA (Hons) Computer Animation Technical Arts student, said: “We’re looking to raise awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and across these three topics we hope to encourage students to research, expand their understanding, and inspire them to use their skills to visually represent themes which we are so passionate about.”

Kate Gabriel, Lighting and Rendering Supervisor at The Mill, said: “This year’s topic is great! Life on Land is such a broad topic with so much inspiration! I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome.”

Public voting and mentoring of the projects will begin Friday 6 May 2022. Winners will receive a prize and be listed at the BFX Festival taking place from 8 to 13 November 2022.

Register your interest for BFX 2022 Festival announcements.