Sony Pictures Imageworks grows IPAX educational program

MUMBAI: Seven new educational institutions have been accepted into Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Professional Academic Excellence (IPAX) program. The announcement was made by Sony Pictures Imageworks president Tim Sarnoff.

After a review process, Imageworks will 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 and 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. 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," said Sarnoff.

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. 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," said Scoredos.

Scoredos added, "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. IPAX benefits Imageworks and our educators as we all prepare the next generation of visual effects artists, software engineers and animators," said Weiss.