Two Dunn Grads Competing in "Animated Short" Category


The Dunn community was ecstatic to learn this week that one of our alums — Ru Kuwahata '00 — is nominated for a 2018 Oscar in the Short Film (Animated) category. 

Ru's film, entitled "Negative Space," was screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this week. During a Q&A after the screening, she spoke about her time at Dunn School and her former art teacher Karen Gearhart-Jensen in particular, who still lives near Dunn.

After Dunn School, Ru attended the Parsons School of Design at the prestigious New School in New York City. She and her partner Max Porter formed the production company Tiny Inventions in 2008 to produce projects that blend digital and analog approaches to animation. They have directed and produced TV commercials, music videos, PSAs and independent films, many of which can be seen on their website. They also are on faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

"Getting the news about Ru was exciting," says Kelsey Sullivan '06, Dunn's alumni affairs coordinator. "B ut then we learned almost by accident that another alum — Aiden Terry '11 — worked as an animator on Kobe Bryant's film 'Dear Basketball,' which is nominated in the same category. We couldn't be prouder!"

After Dunn, Aiden headed from his hometown of Santa Ynez to New York City to study at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. When he graduated in 2016, one of the first jobs he was hired to work on was the small team working on Kobe Bryant's project. 

Aiden and his work is featured in a "Making of" feature about the project.

"The fact that we have two graduates, from two different eras of our history, speaks volumes to the strength and legacy of our art department," says Gene Vachon, Associate Head of School. "Needless to say, we have high expectations for our current art students."