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ESMA, ArtFX... Montpellier animation schools are creating talent!

Information updated on 27/02/20

Hilarious pirates, crazy ducks, and other funny figures from Montpellier’s animation schools such as Esma and ArtFX are hits at the top festivals in France and abroad. They are the result of cutting-edge training programs.

Œil Pour Œil, un petit bijou comique du film d’animation créé par six étudiants de l’ESMA
Imagine a band of happy, one-eyed pirates heading out for Treasure Island, but every time they try, they end up in ever-crazier situations. That’s what “An Eye for an Eye” is, a brilliant comic animated film created by six students at ESMA. It is the only French film selected for the VES* Awards – the most prestigious ceremony recognizing special effects – in Los Angeles, where it will be presented to an eminent jury on January 29 in the Student Film category. An Eye for Eye already won the “3D Student Film” award at the renowned SPARK Animation Festival in Vancouver, Canada.

The original idea was ridiculous, with pirates who only do things halfway because of their missing eye. We then came up with several skits to create the film,” says François Briantais, one of the team’s animators.

The team’s strength? “At ESMA, we learn how to be simultaneously versatile yet specialized in a particular field. It’s a real benefit for working in teams,” highlights the animator, now working at the most renowned studio in Paris, Illumination Mac Guff, creator of Minions. Most of the team has already been hired in the animation field in France, London, and Canada.

The ArtFX school is also winning awards at festivals. One of its best success stories is Coin Coin Final.

Crazy jokes one after the other,” laughs Kenza Chehadi-Fonderflick, 3D specialist in the five-student team. “It’s the story of a stupid duck that ridiculously escapes every attack launched by a hunting dog, in a cabin filled with weapons.

The animated short film was recently nominated for the prestigious Digital Creation GENIE Awards at the Paris Images Digital Summit (PIDS) in the Best Student Film category.

Top quality training programs... and student excellence!

Students from Montpellier schools also had another opportunity to shine. They created many of the animations projected on buildings during Montpellier’s City in Lights festival on November 27-29, 2019. ArtFX, ESMA, Objectif 3D, e-artsup, Acfa Multimédia, Brassart, Studio M, and Ensam all participated in the event.

Anthony Voisin is in charge of the teaching curriculum for animation professions at ESMA, and is quite proud of the success achieved by An Eye for an Eye and other creations such as For a Fistful of Caramel.

He says: “Of course, there is some luck involved in our students’ success, but it is also the fruit of years of work teaching them the basics, bringing them up to speed in a particular specialty, and then supporting them with artistic and technical aspects for group projects. We work with the same students from their first to fourth years, which enables us to really understand their strengths and weaknesses and put together very complementary teams.”

The school’s efforts have been crowned by nominations at national and international festivals. These nominations emphasize training quality and students’ excellent level, leading to many professional opportunities. Montpellier’s animation schools ESMA and ArtFX both have a 100% job placement rate!
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