Animation student takes top prize at international festival


Animation grad Khoebe Magsaysay won the top award at Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) in September. Her film Nihil portrays the deterioration of reality in a 2D short film.

Magsaysay, class of 2015, took the Via Rail for Best Canadian Student Animation Award, at the festival, which is one of the largest in North America. Magsaysay competed with other Canadian students from Concordia University, Seneca College and Vancouver Film School, among others.

“I wanted to create an experience that was only possible through film,” says Magsaysay, referring to her short film. One of the difficulties she found was negative feedback of  ” ‘It’s impossible to make,’ every time I pitched the film.”

Nihil narrates the story of Adina, an architect who meets a child who unravels her reality. “A journey through the deterioration of reality,” as Magsaysay describes her film, is a blend of art, psychology and cinematography.

Nihil by Khoebe Magsaysay. Courtesy of Vimeo 

The film was one of 2,300 total submissions the festival received this year, and was selected with approximately 100 finalists to be featured in the official competition.

Her biggest influences for creating it were novelist Ellen Hopkins and directors Satoshi Kon and Roman Polanski. Nihil, also her graduating thesis for Sheridan, was animated with ToonBoom Harmony and designed in Adobe Photoshop CC.

To learn more about the film and Magsaysay’s work visit her portfolio site.

Sketches of Anida one of Nihil‘s characters. Courtesy of Magsaysay’s portfolio page.
Sketches of Adina one of Nihil‘s characters. Courtesy of Magsaysay’s portfolio page.
Another Nihil‘s character. Courtesy of Magsaysay’s portfolio page.