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SF State student film heads to Cannes



Denize Springer
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
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Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Animated short marks third year in four that an SF State student's film will be screened at the prestigious international film festival.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 14, 2007 -- "Ignorance is Bliss," a three-minute animated short film produced and directed by San Francisco State University student Sean Christensen, has earned a berth at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in France. It screens later this month as part of the international festival's Short Film Corner []. Cannes also screened SF State student films in 2004 and 2006.

Christensen, a resident of San Francisco and native of Phoenix, collaborated with graphic designer and writer Miriam Wilson and Web designer and animator Greg Wild-Smith on the sardonic piece about expectations of the afterlife. Wilson, a native of Oakland, wrote the script based on the statistic that most people in their lifetime swallow an average of 4 spiders while sleeping. Wild-Smith, also of Oakland, created the 2D computer animation.

"Ignorance is Bliss" grew out of sketch comedy work that Christensen and Wilson honed at San Francisco's sketch comedy and film production company Killing My Lobster. It debuted in April at Lobster's hi/lo Film Festival and was produced under a partnership of the trio called Animated State. Christensen, a senior at SF State, is CEO and creative director of his own company, Square One Cinema, LLC.

"I couldn't believe it," said Christensen. "It started off as a joke I heard on the phone one day, and the next it's a film on its way to France."

"Sean is an exceptional talent, wonderfully imaginative and full of surprises," said Jameson Goldner, professor of cinema. "He is at once a highly individualistic creator as well as a popular crew member on his colleague's films."

None of the team will be able to make it to Cannes, but Christensen is submitting "Ignorance is Bliss" to other U.S. film festivals where he plans to attract a buyer in the online or television youth market.

In 2004, SF State student Yael Braha's "The Waves," a black and white short film, was screened in Cannes as part of the Kodak Emerging Filmmakers Showcase. Cinema student Delphine Suter's live action film, "Eyes of a Child," screened as part of the Kodak showcase in 2006.

Founded amid the political activism and artistic experimentation of the 1960s, the SF State Cinema Department has educated generations of filmmakers including Academy Award winners Steven Zaillian (Best Screenplay, "Schindler's List," 1994), Steve Okazaki (Best Short Documentary, "Days of Waiting," 1991) and Marcy Page, who worked on this year's winner for short animation, "The Danish Poet." In 2000, Entertainment Weekly named the SF State Cinema Department one of the nation's top film schools.


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Last modified May 14, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications