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Kyle Evans may only be graduating from Deakin University this week (29 April), but the young filmmaker’s work has already been recognised by acclaimed international film festivals.
After previously having won first prize in the Best Animation category at the 2009 Sydney Underground Film Festival, Kyle’s animated short film Lonely Girl was shown at this year’s prestigious International Film Festival in Rotterdam and has been accepted into the Los Angeles Film Festival in June.
Lonely Girl – which began life as a third-year project for Kyle’s Bachelor of Contemporary Arts degree – is described as “a hand-drawn, traditionally animated short film based around a music mashup by Matthew "Chicago-Lollie" Davis”.
Although it was a last minute thing, Kyle was able to make the trip to Rotterdam.
“With the help and encouragement of Dirk de Bruyn, one of my Deakin lecturers, I successfully applied for a grant from Screen Australia which enabled me to go to Rotterdam,” Kyle said.
“The grant only came through about a week and a half before the festival, so I didn’t have a lot of time to get organised, but I got there.” And it was a trip worth making.
“It was a pretty awesome experience. I met some amazing people, including Australians I would never otherwise have a chance to talk to, including Kristy Matheson from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the director of Dogs in Space, Richard Lowenstein.”
Attending the screenings of his film was another highlight.
“There were two screenings of Lonely Girl with around 170 people at each, followed by Q&A sessions with the festival directors – a really good experience."
Dirk de Bruyn, the Deakin lecturer Kyle credits with helping him make it to Rotterdam, believes Kyle’s work “holds its own next to highly sophisticated work”.
“Kyle has a fine eye for gesture and subtle movement. The way he makes his characters move – it is a skill he has always had.”
Although he became interested in film as the result of a course he did in Year 9, Kyle said as a filmmaker he discovered animation at Deakin.
“I grew up watching Disney and Warner Bros cartoons so two-dimensional animation has always interested me. But I got the chance to make it here at Deakin,” he said.
Despite his success to date as an animator, Kyle is pragmatic about it as a career prospect.
“I enjoy animation and will continue to do it, but I’m also interested in sound design and I think I may be more employable as a sound engineer!”
Kyle’s pragmatism about work means he probably won’t be with Lonely Girl for the Los Angeles Film Festival – he’s got some freelance work lined up around that time.
But there may be other overseas opportunities – Kyle has received invitations to submit Lonely Girl to a number of other international film festivals for consideration, including the Telluride Film Festival in the US, the Milano Film Festival in Italy and the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in Korea.
Kyle is graduating from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts with Distinction at a ceremony on Thursday 29 April.