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Galaxy Girl, an animated short film by DigiPen student team PunkCakes Studios, will be screened at the Seattle International Film Festival’s ShortsFest Weekend on May 26 at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle.

Created as a senior film project during the 2016 – 2017 academic year, Galaxy Girl tells the story of an aspiring comic book author whose unexpected close encounter while delivering pizza changes her life forever. Richard Grover, Galaxy Girl’s director and animator — who worked as a delivery driver while attending school, says that the Netflix series Stranger Things was an inspiration for some of the elements in the story. Additionally, the Disney short film Feast influenced the film’s lighthearted look and feel.

Currently, festivals like SIFF are the only place to see the entire film, but we do have a short trailer to whet your appetite.

The film has already been selected or screened at a dozen festivals across the world, including in Spain, Bangladesh, and Greece. Festival selections have included the Animation Dingle festival in County Kerry, Ireland, earlier this year, as well as the upcoming Northwest Animation Festival in Oregon.

Grover isn’t sure if he’ll be attending the SIFF premiere — he now lives in California, working as a cinematic artist for Telltale Games. But he’s still very excited by all of these recent festival selections.

“I’m flattered, obviously, and grateful,” Grover says. “It feels great knowing that you made something that has been appreciated and enjoyed at the international level. The whole project was an amazing experience, and I’m just happy that I got to work with my friends and awesome instructors.”

Galaxy Girl joins the likes of Arpeggio, Adija, and Super Secret as DigiPen’s fourth student film to be appearing at a SIFF event. Both Arpeggio and Adija were selected for a SIFF-curated show in 2017, and Super Secret was screened at SIFF’s Family Picture Show event in 2014. Recognition by the Seattle International Film Festival is considered a particularly prestigious distinction, as a SIFF selection qualifies animated shorts for consideration at the Academy Awards.

Galaxy Girl was created by Richard Grover, Taylor Barron, Andrea Calleja, Marco Olivares, and Patrick Payne.