CULVER CITY, Calif., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven new educational institutions have been accepted into Sony Pictures Imageworks' Professional Academic Excellence (IPAX) program, it was announced today by the company's president, Tim Sarnoff. After a rigorous review process, Imageworks is proud to admit the following schools into the program, including, for the first time, two international institutions:
-- Brigham Young University -- California State University Northridge -- Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg -- Linkopings Universitet -- New York University -- School of Visual Arts -- Texas A&M University These new schools join Animation Mentor, Carnegie Mellon University, DePaul University, Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Otis College of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, Ringling College of Art + Design, Stanford University, University of New Mexico and University of Southern California Arts in the growing IPAX program. "With the addition of these seven new schools, we are excited that the IPAX program continues to follow its original goal of helping educate the educators which in turn helps students excel," said Sarnoff. "We are very proud to have initiated the program just three years ago, and have already seen a lot of interest worldwide. These new schools have proven themselves through their educational programs to consistently produce some of the most respected artists in our field. We are looking forward to continuing to add schools to the IPAX program and to expand its offerings." Spearheading the IPAX initiatives is Imageworks' executive director of training and artist development and IPAX Chair, Sande Scoredos. "Interest in IPAX has been extraordinary from both the domestic and international academic communities and we were honored to receive a record number of submissions this year from the best institutions in the world," said Scoredos. "With so many exceptional schools eager to participate in the IPAX program, you can imagine how difficult it was to select a limited number of schools for membership this year when they all have excellent programs, brilliant faculty and talented students." Scoredos continued, "Expanding the program to eighteen to include international institutions was something new for IPAX and all the schools that applied for membership were quite extraordinary. Our two new international institutions, in addition to our five additional domestic schools, expand our vision to create a unique global program to bring together the strongest programs in animation, visual effects, technology, computer science and production management." Barry Weiss, senior vice president of animation and artist development and Chair of the IPAX Collaboration Initiative, continues to explore how these diverse IPAX schools can work together to develop cooperative and collaborative programs. IPAX continues to evolve as a key component of Imageworks global production, artist development and artist retention strategy. "The idea of encouraging our IPAX schools to connect and network with each other is something that we feel very passionately about as a major strategic advantage for Imageworks," said Weiss. "IPAX benefits Imageworks and our educators as we all prepare the next generation of visual effects artists, software engineers and animators." Imageworks created the IPAX program in 2004 to connect teaching faculty with industry professionals and guide curricula at the country's leading academic institutions in an effort to further develop future talent who will contribute to the overall growth of the visual effects and animation industry. IPAX is a program designed to share, extend and expand the Imageworks knowledge base by providing fellowships to teaching faculty of IPAX member schools, attend in-house training programs, and participate in a working production environment on-site at Imageworks. IPAX fellows return to the classroom with real-world production experience and the ability to identify, inspire and recommend future talent for our industry. The IPAX program also offers a yearly review of curricula to help update teaching faculty and ensure that students are exposed to the latest developments in technology and techniques used not only at Imageworks, but throughout the visual effects and digital animation industries. In addition, Imageworks offers fellowships, scholarships and internships to IPAX members to provide the opportunity to integrate faculty into the Imageworks production environment, attend guest lectures and training sessions, and advise member schools on course content. ABOUT SONY PICTURES IMAGEWORKS Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is an Academy Award(R) winning, state-of-the-art digital production studio dedicated to the art of visual effects production and character animation. The Imageworks production environment facilitates four diverse pipelines including live-action visual effects and character work, Imagemotion(TM) performance capture, all CG animation and Imageworks 3D stereoscopic. The company's achievements have been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars(R) for its work on SPIDER-MAN(TM) 2 and the CG animated short film THE CHUBBCHUBBS!. Most recently, SURF'S UP was nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. In 2007, two of Imageworks' projects, the all-CG animated feature MONSTER HOUSE and SUPERMAN RETURNS, were nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature and Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects respectively. With those two nominations, Imageworks became the first studio to be recognized in the same year in these distinct areas, an indication of the diversity and quality of the company's capabilities. Other Oscar(R) nominated projects include THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, SPIDER-MAN(TM), HOLLOW MAN, STUART LITTLE and STARSHIP TROOPERS, for a total of nine nominations. Imageworks most recently completed projects include SPEED RACER, BEOWULF, also made in 3D stereoscopic, and I AM LEGEND. For more information, please visit www.imageworks.com. "ACADEMY AWARD(R)" and "OSCAR(R)" are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. MARVEL, and all Marvel characters including the Spider-Man, Sandman and Venom characters (TM) & (C)2007 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SOURCE Sony Pictures Imageworks