ABOUT FILMMAKER

 

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SAM CHEN
filmmaker
animator
CG artist
professor
curator

 
A graduate of UCLA Computer Science & Engineering School, Sam Chen began his career as a computer graphics specialist at Silicon Graphics (Sgi) where he helped pioneer 3D content creation for the World Wide Web.  

In 2000, Chen founded Aloha Animation Studio which has created many award-winning animated films.  His animated biopic Eternal Gaze about artist sculptor Alberto Giacometti has screened in over 120 festivals worldwide, garnering over 35 festival awards including the Grand Prize at SIGGRAPH 2003 and was short-listed for the 2004 Academy Award.  Chen's animated short Amazonia has screened in over 100 festivals worldwide, winning 15 festival awards and was invited to screen as part of the prestigious 2012 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts Program which opened in 300 theaters.  His most recent film Seth & Maria went viral on the web and caught the attention of radio superstar Howard Stern who invited it to screen on his cable TV channel.  Chen's television work has won multiple Emmy & Telly Awards for Best Animation & Direction.

Chen has been invited by Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney Feature Animation Studios, and many art schools around the world as a speaker on computer animation filmmaking.

Since 2001, Chen has served as the Animation Curator for the San Diego Asian Film Foundation.  In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation & Tribeca Film Institute Fellowship.  He is currently serving on the Advisory Board for Platt College School of Design and teaches college courses on character animation, digital cinematography & lighting, and CG filmmaking at The Art Institute of California in San Diego.

Major Films:
2011 Seth & Maria (4:30), Computer Animation
2010 Amazonia (4:50), Computer Animation
2005 The Making of Eternal Gaze (60:00), Documentary
2003 Eternal Gaze (16:00), Computer Animation
2000 Cat Ciao (4:30), Computer Animation
1999 Sgi to the IMAX (5:00), IMAX 70mm Computer Animation
1999 Piccolo's Encore (3:00), Computer Animation
1998 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (60:00), Feature Documentary
1998 Heart of the Amazon Adventure (60:00), Feature Documentary

Awards:
Eternal Gaze
2003-2005: 35 festival awards including: Grand Prize SIGGRAPH 2003, Best Animated Short Awards at Intíl 3D Award Copenhagen, Palm Springs ShortFest, Barcelona ArtFutura, Savannah, Atlanta, Interfilm Berlin Intí Shorts, Sarasota, SkipCity Japan Intíl D-Cinema, Seoul Intíl Cartoon & Animation, Expresion En Corto Mexico, Portugal Imago, No Words Italy Intíl Short, St.Louis Intíl, Montreal Intíl Films on Art, etc.

Amazonia
2010-2012: 10 festival awards including: Best Animated Short Awards at Anonimul Intíl Independent Romania, Boston Intíl, Seattle Intíl, Umbria, Las Vegas, Big Bear Lake, In The Bin Short Australia, etc.

Publications:
December 2010: A Labour of Love in 3D World Magazine about the making of the animated film Amazonia.
September 2010: Rivet-ing in CGW Magazine about the making of the animated film Amazonia.
1997: The Out Of Box Experience: Lessons Learned Creating Compelling VRML 2.0 in VRML Ď97 Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Virtual Reality Modeling Language paper.

Notable Grants:
2004: Recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Grant - Film & Video.