JANUARY

Game Design Expo Brings Together Students and Experts

The fifth annual Game Design Expo drew more than 500 game professionals, students, and game fans to a weekend of engaging talks, demonstrations, and networking. Hosted by the Game Design program at VFS, the sold-out Industry Speaker Day featured presentations from the minds behind Angry Birds, World of Warcraft, Dead Space 2, TRON: Evolution, and many more. Over 300 aspiring game designers attended sample classes and played student-created games at the VFS Game Design Open House, which marked the launch of the Relic Entertainment-sponsored Brian Wood Memorial Internship and the third annual Women in Games scholarship. Find Out More

FEBRUARY

VFS Students Put Cyber-Bullies in the Hot Seat

Mid-way through their year at VFS, Digital Design students Tamish Aswani, Paul Belen, Felipe Dos Santos, and Luis Francisco Baroni Coutinho set out to empower and educate parents and their children about the very real problem of cyber-bullying. To do it, they created an animated infographic with a powerful call to action. Their project quickly earned widespread mainstream media coverage in The National Post, The Province, The Vancouver Sun, The Montreal Gazette, and Global News TV, sparking positive interest from the Canadian education system. See the project in Digital Design's Showcase

March

Acting Grad Honoured at Vancouver Festival

Taking a break from her then-recurring role on The Vampire Diaries, Acting for Film & Television grad Sara Canning starred in the independent feature film, Black Field. Her performance garnered acclaim at the sixth annual Vancouver Women in Film Festival, and Sara came away with an award for Best Performance.

The honour came just four years after Sara graduated from VFS, a period of time during which she's accumulated credits on series like Smallville and Kyle XY, along with Slapshot 3: The Junior League and multiple made-for-TV movies. Find Out More

April

Writing Grad's Long Journey to the Big Screen

When VFS graduate Seth Lochhead began the one-year Writing for Film & Television program, he set his sights on one thing alone: "I'm going to write a script and sell it." Six years after graduating, he was in New York at the red carpet premiere of Hanna, a screenplay he first wrote at VFS. Seth's final student project has evolved into a monumental achievement, earning high-profile accolades around the world and securing his future as one of Hollywood's in-demand screenwriters.
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May

VFS Student Project Gives Big Brothers a Boost

In Entertainment Business Management, each student's final project is a chance for them to apply everything they've learned throughout the year and make a bold statement about themselves upon graduation. Emily Claire-McLaughlin decided to focus on a cause she cared about and dedicated her efforts to creating three broadcast-ready public service announcements for Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, featuring well-known local personalities and athletes. Grateful for her support, Big Brothers created a special award to recognize Emily's work. See the Case Study on VFS.COM

June

Digital Character Animation Grad Wins Ariel Award

The Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences' Ariel Awards, seen as the highest level of recognition in the Mexican film industry, have a history of honouring great filmmakers: Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Arau, Luis Buñuel… and now Digital Character Animation grad Rafael Cardenas can add his name to that list.

The success of Rafael's short film Luna has proven his way of seeing the world pays off: "I truly believe that if you desire something there is always a way to reach it." Find Out More

July

Big Success at International Makeup Competitions

Makeup Design for Film & Television grads continue to set the standard for student character/prosthetic makeup throughout North America at International Make-Up Artist Trade Shows (IMATS), regularly placing in the top-three positions on the podium at the end of frantic days of makeup application. In 2011 alone, VFS grads garnered three 1st place finishes, along with two 2nd places and two 3rd places in Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Find Out More

August

SIGGRAPH Comes to Vancouver!

The world's top international conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive technologies ventured outside of the US for the first time, bringing unprecedented attention to Vancouver's acclaimed effects industry. SIGGRAPH is on record as the biggest conference to date in Vancouver, with 16,000 attendees from 74 countries, and more than 800 industry speakers.

VFS became one of the hot spots of activity, hosting guest speakers from leading companies like Pixologic, ILM, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Rhythm & Hues, and Animal Logic – not to mention a packed Open House event and the first-ever Animation & Visual Effects alumni reunion.

September

Zombie Bromance Wins Teletoon Pilot Project

A graduate of both Foundation Visual Art & Design and Classical Animation — now making her way in Entertainment Business Management — Sheryl Vedamani is determined to realize her unique vision of success in the entertainment industry. She came one huge step closer to that goal with the $10,000 grand prize in the hotly-contested Teletoon Pilot Project competition. Sheryl's winning piece was a short film she created in Classical Animation about two friends planning for the zombie apocalypse. Find Out More

October

Compendium's "The Little Mermaid" Wins at Screamfest LA

The Entertainment Business Management-led Compendium series of short films brings out the best in many students, grads, and faculty across VFS. Volume IV: Psycho Princess featured a new take on The Little Mermaid tale, bringing it to a dark, surrealistic world. The finished film garnered the Best Short award at Screamfest LA, the festival that helped launch Paranormal Activity and regularly features horror industry titans, making the big win all the more scream-worthy. Read the Blog story View the behind the scenes video on VFS.COM

November

Inside BioWare: VFS Grads in Game Audio

Named Studio of the Year by Spike TV's Video Game Awards in 2010, BioWare is known around the world as an industry leader in role-playing games, with franchises like Mass Effect and Dragon Age racking up acclaim from critics and fans. VFS gained exclusive access to BioWare's Edmonton campus to get a better sense of the growing importance of game audio from Sound Design for Visual Media grads. View the video on vfs.com

December

Google user experience expert revisits VFS Digital Design

Advisory Board Member and Digital Design graduate Peter Jin Hong returned to VFS to share his industry experience and advice with students. The UX Lead at Google+ Photos — one of the world's largest and fastest-growing social media networks — Peter reviewed student projects and gave an intimate talk about the role of mentorship in the design world. Find Out More

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