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The Department of Animation was established at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2006 and since 2007 it has offered a two-year international Animation MA programme. The main goal of the programme is to successfully educate creators of animated films, providing them with theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The further aim is to contribute to the global development of animation as an art form.
Animation is a thriving medium and developing at a greater pace than ever before. It has become part of mass culture, as well as one of its principal forms. Animation can be seen in digital screen graphics, computer games, music videos, films, etc.
As our master students come from very different parts of the world and have different educational backgrounds we try to encourage their individual approach to filmmaking. The films vary from narrative to more experimental. Most of the works are executed in traditional 2D or stop motion techniques. Recently we have started to offer more thorough CGI courses as well. We invite several well-known animation artists to give workshops where they offer their inspiration and different approaches to animation.
Upon completion of the MA in Animation programme, students have acquired in-depth theoretical and practical animation skills. The students can specialise in specific animation techniques and create individual projects in the appropriate technique. After graduation, the students are qualified to realise themselves as animated film creators, professionals in creative industries or teachers in their field. Students who have completed the Master's programme are also qualified to continue their studies and pursue a doctoral degree.
EKA animation students have produced over 150 animated films, take a look at the works in our Vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/ekaanima
Student films have won over 50 awards in international festivals. Former students of our MA programme include the internationally recognised filmmakers Kristjan Holm, Martinus Daane Klemet, Anu Laura Tuttelberg (Estonia), Edmunds Jansons, Zane Oborenko (Latvia), Michael Frey (Switzerland), Lucija Mrzljak (Croatia), Teemu Hotti and Heta Jäälinoja (Finland). The Animation department is the perfect melting pot for students from different countries. Our current students are from 15 countries.
Estonia has a rich tradition in animation – studios like Eesti Joonisfilm, Nukufilm and several smaller ones operate here, giving Tallinn a thriving animation scene.
The animation program at EKA is established by the most outstanding Estonian author, Priit Pärn and currently run by Priit Tender. A wide variety of courses are taught by experienced working filmmakers. Classes on storyboarding, film history, animation techniques, plus a variety of workshops are some of what is offered in the curriculum. Guest animators are often brought in to give lectures, lead workshops, and consult with students. The primary aim of the program is to educate directors of animated films.
There is a vibrant international community in the animation department at EKA – its students come from all over the globe. Students from countries as far as Thailand, USA, Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong have studied inn the program.