‘The Minstrel and the Duck’ to be featured at prestigious New York festival

HUNTINGTON, Ind.— “The Minstrel and the Duck,” a four-minute, stop-motion animation film created by Stephen Leeper, associate professor of digital media arts at Huntington University, along with students in the animation production studio class was recently accepted into the 8th Annual Animation Block Party 2011 festival in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“This is the first New York block party festival that a film from Huntington has ever been accepted into,” Leeper said. “It’s nice to know audiences beyond HU also like the film.”

Animation Block Party is the largest animation film festival on the East Coast. It is dedicated to screening the world’s best professional, student and independent work of all genres.

From a selection pool of more than 650 applicants, “The Minstrel and the Duck” made the final cut to be one of 100 films featured during the festival. “The Minstrel and the Duck” tells the story of “a cheerful but hungry traveling Minstrel (who) attempts to befriend an unscrupulous duck ... at the expense of his dinner. It's only a matter of time before the minstrel’s patience is worn thin, and he decides to make a change to the menu,” according to the summary.

The project, directed by Leeper and HU alum Luke Nimtze (2009 animation) began back in 2007 when Leeper and nine other students came up with the concept and plot of the story. Over the past four years, 25 students enrolled in the animation production studio class have taken on various roles and tasks to see the project through to completion.

The festival will run July 29-31 at Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, N.Y. “The Minstrel and the Duck” will be featured during the 4:30-9:15 p.m. time slot on July 30.
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and Forbes.com has listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its “Best in the Midwest” list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


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