Two animated shorts created by students at DigiPen Institute of Technology were selected for screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival and have already garnered attention internationally.

Adija student director Apollonia Thomaier. Photo courtesy DigiPen.

Recognized globally for its game design and computer science programs, this recognition puts DigiPen on the map for students looking to pursue careers in film and animations.

The two films, Adija and Arpeggio, will be featured among 12 films for the “young and young at heart,” at 11 a.m., May 27 at the SIFF Uptown Cinema in Seattle. For those that can’t make the first screening, Arpeggio also was selected as one of seven SIFF short films available for viewing in Starbucks coffeehouses — visit the Starbucks blog site for the entire festival.

Both films address the emotional complexities of family. In Adija, a young girl delves into graffiti art to escape her parents’ dysfunctional relationships. And Arpeggio, follows the “gradual distancing of a father and son who once bonded over a love of music.”

In addition to being screened locally, the films also have made appearances in international film festivals and Adija has garnered six awards. The films were created as senior projects by two separate student teams, with the majority of them pursing a Bachelor in Fine Arts in digital art and animation. All of the students involved with Adija have since graduated from DigiPen’s Redmond campus, but Arpeggio was created by a student team at DigiPen’s campus in Bilbao, Spain with contributions from students and faculty at the Redmond campus.


Screenshot from Adija. Photo courtesy DigiPen.

“Every year, our films become stronger,” said Pamela Mathues, a senior lecturer in animation and faculty advisor to the student animation teams, in a press release. “This has to do with the excellence of the students and their creative vision, as well as the strength of the BFA program as a whole.  The school creates a solid foundation of skill and practice, so that the students can bring their projects to life.”

Since 2014, there have been 15 student films from DigiPen’s global campuses that collectively garnered 75 awards and festival selections.