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UC San Diego Visual Arts media student Alice Hsieh appeared stunned to hear her name called as the Grand Prize Winner of this year’s Adam D. Kamil Media Awards. Hsieh walked to the podium and graciously thanked the Kamil family for this opportunity. Hsieh stated that this award has not only supported her financially, but also encourges her to create even better artwork in the future.

Now in its sixth year, the Adam D. Kamil Media Awards has become the most prestigious recognition for aspiring UC San Diego filmmakers. The Kamil family created the award to honor the memory of their son Adam and promote creative undergraduate filmmaking. The award consists of a $2000 grand prize and two $1000 finalist awards. This year there were 36 film submissions that were judged by a committee comprised of Visual Arts faculty members Amy Alexander, Jordan Crandall, Brian Cross, Mariana Wardwell, and professional writer-producer, David Yorkin. The committee presented the following winners for the 2016 Adam D. Kamil Media Awards.

Grand Prize Winner:
Alice Hsieh, “Children of The Millennia”


Alexander Uhler, Yvonne Ha, and Yuka Murakami, “Prince of Puppies”
Jia Chen and Clara Park, “EDEN”

Honarable Mentions:
Victor De La Fuente, “Tau/Ros”
Grason Caldwell, Alexis Hithe, Alexander Uhler, and Yuka Murakami, “WARREN”
Dyllan Edward Thweatt, “Pizza Sense”

Assistant Professor Brian Cross noted, that unlike years past, this year there was a clear winner. “The Children of The Millennia,” by Visual Arts Media major Alice Hsieh, is the first animated work to win the top prize.
Hsieh had experimented with animation in the past, but this project was her first fully animated film. “My process began with preparing a storyboard to plan out the sequences and composition of each shot. Afterwards, I used Photoshop to paint the different backgrounds needed for each scene.” Her final product is a polished animated film with striking imagery.

Hsieu describes a range of works that informed her film. “I had seen a mural on campus that featured the image of helicopter silhouettes against the sun from the film, ‘Apocalypse Now,’ that inspired the narrative of invasion and colonialism, as well as the image of an aircraft against the sunset. I was also inspired by Studio Ghibli’s ‘Grave of the Fireflies,’ which focuses on two siblings and their loss of innocence. Stylistically, I took inspiration from the animated series, ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender,’ which features diverse Asian cultures and characters.”

The Kamil Awards ask students to submit films that share their story. As an Asian-American, Hsieh’s narrative is grounded in Asian culture and its representations. “I take influence from history, representing the colonized with elements from Asian and aboriginal culture...I aim to share a perspective unique to me, as well as increase Asian representation in Western media.”

Hsieh concludes that this opportunity has affirmed her own beliefs as an artist.

“The Kamil Grant’s support has shown me that art is fundamental and something worth investing in. It has motivated me to continue my pursuit because art is important to the entire community and should not be overlooked.”

The Adam D. Kamil Awards reception is accompanied by an exhibition that showcases all participating films. For more information about the Kamil Media Awards please visit the website. The Department of Visual Arts at UC San Diego is ranked 13th in the nation for fine arts, according to U.S. News & World Report, with high-ranking specialties in multimedia and sculpture.

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