Film Festival Selects Animated Student Short for Screening

“Frankie”— a capstone project created by Columbia College Chicago students — will be screened as a Kids First! Film Festival-curated film.

What do you get when you combine the talents of 25 Columbia College Chicago Animation seniors along with those of students studying audio, music composition for the screen,  and film and televisionA heartfelt gem of a film called “Frankie,” an animated short that debuted at Manifest on May 10 and was recently selected to be screened by the Kids First! Film Festival. 

This capstone film project came out of an Animation Production Studio class, a two-semester course taught by Associate Professor Ron Fleischer. The class mirrors the innerworkings of a professional animation studio, according to Fleischer.  

“Students pitch ideas for the film during the first couple of weeks of the fall semester and once a concept is decided on, they begin preproduction fleshing out the story, characters, and look of the film,” he says.  

The film tells the story of Emmy, a goldfish named Frankie, and Emmy’s dad — a loving father who goes to great lengths to keep his little girl happy. 

 "It’s funny, charming, poignant, perfectly paced, and looks great,” Fleischer says. “My students fell in love with these characters and so does pretty much everyone who has seen it.” 

As part of the class, Fleischer taught students how to enter the film’s data on Film Freeway and research festivals that they thought would make a good fit.  

On Thursday, May 23, the team heard that the film had been selected by the Kids First! Film Festival, a showcase for films from independent and student filmmakers worldwide, plus screenplays. The festival partners with 30-plus venues worldwide that host screenings of KIDS FIRST! curated films year-round.  

"It would be a shame if the film only screened during Manifest and never seen again,” Fleischer says. “It deserves to find its audience. It’s important that the film has a life outside of Columbia … The recognition that these now-alums receive from these festivals is invaluable.” 

Watch “Frankie” and check out the Columbia student credits at the end. Just use the password APS24.