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Booker High VPA Film & Animation Student Piece Selected for Film Festival

by Rebecca Abrahamson, VPA Coordinator & AICE English General Paper Instructor at Booker High School

SARASOTA COUNTY, July 24, 2020 – Booker High School’s Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Film & Animation students' animated short, "Empty Nest”, was selected for screening in the 17th annual "Animation Block Party" film festival — one of the nation's largest festivals featuring solely animation. The festival, which this year will be hosted virtually, runs August 21-23, and will feature animations from around the globe.

"Empty Nest" is an animated version of children's author and illustrator Ethan Long's book with the same title. Long, whose popular children's books have gained international acclaim, graduated from the Ringling College of Art + Design in 1991. The collaboration between Long and the four students working on the short — Matthew Abolafia, Tallulah Bonifield, Janeth Rivas-Castillo, and Maren Timpe — is an example of Booker High School's college-and-career readiness initiative in action.

Timpe, the key-framer, said she feels being accepted into such a renowned festival will boost her credibility as she applies for college. Heading into her senior year, Timpe, who has an interest in studying both zoology and animation, considered this an ideal project because it allowed the alliance of her two passions; animating birds fascinated her. The experience of working with the author also provided new opportunities for the team. Timpe noted that they don’t normally have actual clients, so creating and revising around his vision was a skill she could enhance through this process.

“It also forced our team dynamic to change,” Timpe said. “The client was like the sun, and we were the little planets around it, and learning to take direction as a group from someone outside will definitely come into play later in my career.”

To see “Empty Nest” on Long’s Instagram page, please click here: