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University of Colorado Denver

College of Arts & Media

Bragging Rights

A Complex Villainelle


A Complex Villainelle, an animated short by students and faculty from the UC Denver Digital Animation Center, garners many festival awards...»

A Complex Villainelle (or ACV for short), an animated short by students and faculty from the UC Denver Digital Animation Center, garnered festival selections including the Heart of England International Film Festival, the International Youth Film Festival, the International Film Festival of South Africa, and The short is also a finalist at the 2010 New Jersey Film Festival and Crystal Palace International Film Festival and a “Winner Q3 Quarterly Winner” at the AniMazing Spotlight (

Frank Mouris, Oscar winning animator of “Frank Film” commented after seeing the short that it was the “best student collaborative animation I've ever seen. Good story, narration, character and set design.”

As of July 30, ACV won once again!

Best Animation
Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood

As of July 26, ACV was not only a finalist for the Los Angeles International Film Festival but received an Honorable Mention!

Moondance, Boulder CO

Estes Park Film Festival in Estes Park CO

TriMedia Film Festival, Fort Collins CO

Angelus Student Film Festival, Los Angeles CA

As of July 2:

2010 New Jersey Film Festival

As of July 1, ACV was accepted to two more relatively large and important festivals. Both festivals said the film scored “extremely well” with the jurors and have asked if some students and faculty can be in attendance at the festivals:

2010 DragonCon Independent Short Film Festival, Atlanta GA.
DragonCon has 30,000+ attendees ever year.

13th annual Hardacre Film Festival, Tipton, Iowa
Hardacre is a well known launching pad for some of the bigger independent films.

To learn more about A Complex Villainelle, please visit

More panelist comments about the short:

Paul Dopff:
Wwwhoooaooo!!!  and also: OOOuch !

Monique Renault:
The story is fine, continuity too, timing, details in animation, characters, all fine ! But the voice is boring, and it’s a great pity. So much talk is not necessary to understand what happens. Look at the last minute, its superb: no voice ... It reminds me of “La Bergere et le Ramoneur” by Paul Grimault

Bill Matthews:
WOW!! I think that if this were the only short in this round, it should win hands-down, despite the very large crew who worked on it!  BRAVO--and when, oh when, does the continuation of this very funny prequel to the Batman/Penguin story (and who would have thought of Mary Poppins as a love interest for BATMAN?!)  Hilarious idea!  I can hardly wait for appetite’s been whetted! Kudos to Mr. Kinnaird and his crew!  We need another category:  “MOST PROFESSIONAL WORK”

Lennie Graves:
Epic, especially for a student film. Intriguing blurring of two fantasy characters; The Penguin and Mary Poppins. Good animation, though the weight shifting felt a bit awkward at times. Good emotions and expressions; the characters were kept alive and thinking at all times. And the complex nature of the Penguin came through.  Nice expanse of environments from soaring through the wide outdoors, to the confines of a stuffy dinner.

Malcolm Turner:
This is just such a good idea and fairly well written – the blending of several famous characters, an invented backstory, the internal logic of it all is pretty engaging. What lets it down is the style of the character design – the undertextured character design seldom translate that well onto a big screen and although the characters flew REALLY well, their connection with the ground and with physical objects was less convincing. Spot on music background though and good voicework.

Larry Loc:
The story is light but rich in psychological undertones. A fun grafting of a number of pop culture characters in an insightful back story to the heroes we grew up with. This is a fun story but I worry about copyright issues. This is outside the scope of parody. The teachers need to address copyright in the classroom. It is a shame that a fine piece like this may be unshowable because it infringes on characters owned my D.C. Comics.  The movement in flight is top notch. The lighting plays to the world of the dark knight. The look into the reasons for the villain’s later actions are inventive and funny.  I enjoyed the film.

Congratulations to the success of this film, the Digital Animation Center, and to the students and faculty that made this film a reality!