Pratt Film/Video & Photography alumnus Peter Ahern won first place in the student animation category of the ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) East Animation Festival for his B.F.A. thesis animation Down to the Bone in New York City on May 9. Third place was won by David Sheahan, also a 2009 graduate of Pratt’s Film/Video & Photography program, for his film Together!
Down To The Bone recounts the misadventures of a boy who sneezes and consequently turns himself inside out. The film touches upon several themes prevalent in Ahern’s work including his love for suspense-based comedy, dismayed children, texture, and man-made imperfections.
Ahern’s animation also won Best Screenplay at this year’s Wallabout Film Festival, which is organized by an interdisciplinary group of Pratt students, and the Audience Award at the Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Festival. Since its release, Ahern’s film has been screened at the following festivals: Animation Block Party, Florida Film, Indianapolis International Film, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, RAWSTOCK Short Film, San Francisco Independent Film, the Student Academy Awards, South by Southwest®, and Waterfront. Ahern’s film was a Student Academy Award Nominee this year, and the director previously earned the Pratt Circle Award and the Excellence in Academic Achievement Award from Pratt Institute, both in May 2009.
ASIFA was founded in 1960 by a group of international animators in hopes of increasing the visibility of animated film throughout the world. ASIFA East is the Eastern U.S. chapter of this organization, based in New York City, which hosts monthly screenings of animated films and a variety of other events. ASIFA East annually holds an animation festival that showcases groundbreaking independent and commercial animation.
Ahern earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in film from Pratt Institute in May 2009 and graduated with highest honors. He currently lends his expertise in animation to Curious Pictures, London Squared Productions, and Nola Pictures. To view the trailer for Down to the Bone, visit http://vimeo.com/peterahern. This award-winning four-minute film is available for purchase at http://opticcandy.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/now-available/.
Ahern grew up in Acton, Massachusetts.