Animation department chair, Sheila Sofian, has been awarded a Media Arts Fellowship.
College of the Canyons' animation department chair, Sheila Sofian, has been awarded a National Video Resources (NVR) Media Arts Fellowship. With a cash prize of $35,000, these fellowships have been awarded annually for 19 years and recognize the artistic excellence of 20 film, video and new media artists from throughout the United States.
Sofian will use the prize money to work on her film, Truth Has Fallen, a live action and animation production that follows the work of James McCloskey, whose mission is to free prisoners wrongfully convicted of murder. Several of her other films have won critical acclaim and have been shown at film festivals internationally. The Media Arts Fellowships program has awarded nearly $10 million to three hundred gifted media artists working in a variety of genres and is known as one of the most prestigious grants in the media arts. According to Brian Newman, Executive Director of NVR, "Those nominated for the 2006 Media Arts Fellowships represent some of the most important media artists working in the country today. From emerging artists to those more established in their careers, from documentarians to artists using software as their medium, they represent a wide array of artistic vision, and we congratulate them all."
NVR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 by the Rockefeller Foundation. Sofian's work was also honored recently when her painting-on-glass animated film, A Conversation with Harris, was selected to participate in Fundacia "La Caixa," a contemporary art and animation exhibit in Spain and France during June 2006 until April 2007. A Conversation with Haris is a touching documentary narrated by an 11-year-old Bosnian immigrant as he recounts his experiences in the war in his homeland.
Sofian's animation students at College of the Canyons benefit from her wide variety of interests and skills. Advanced animation students, under her direction, have been producing animated commercials that the college has been placing on local cable stations for three years.