Ascension schools produce animated films for Red Stick Festival

Staff reports
East Ascension High School students Ian Cessna, Chris Wallace, Trevor Lieblong and Travin LeBlanc work with teacher David Branton.

Teachers and students from four Ascension Parish schools recently participated in this year’s Animation Collaboration for a Cause, designing original animated short films about how global warming affects their communities.

Teachers and students from Dutchtown High School, East Ascension High School, St. Amant High School and Donaldsonville High School spent nearly a week working with AnimAction to learn animation and create their films. Gonzales-based communications company EATEL was instrumental in making the project possible for parish students.

Red Stick International Animation Festival participants will screen the Animation Collaboration for a Cause films Friday, April 24, at 9 a.m. in the Manship Theatre.

Teachers and students from all area schools who participated in Animation Collaboration will discuss the production process, and the Red Stick International Animation Festival will present an award to the school with the best animated film.

The films will also be submitted to festivals and film screenings around the world. Previous Animation Collaboration films have been screened as far away as Europe and Asia, and still can be seen online through several youth media Web sites.

“The Animation Collaboration training showed the students how important planning is to the production process,” stated Patrick Ricks, digital media teacher at Dutchtown High School. “It also brought to light the wide variety of jobs available in the field of digital media.”

Animation Collaboration for a Cause is an annual part of the Red Stick International Animation Festival thanks to a partnership with AnimAction, a company that focuses on youth expression through animation.

Each year AnimAction artists work closely with school-age children, helping them create animation about their experiences with various social issues.

This year’s theme, “Heating Up,” focuses on climate change, global warming and environmental issues. Past topics have included natural disasters, organ and tissue donation and Hurricane Katrina experiences.

Amber Jones (near) and Jordan Bordelon (far), both Dutchtown High School students, work on producing animated short films.