Cannes Film Festival to Feature Short Film Written and Directed by Academy of Art University Alumni and Instructor Nicolás P. Villarreal

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Filmmaker Tells Academy of Art Visual Development Students That With Hard Work and Persistence, Their Dreams of Breaking Into the Industry Can Come True Just Like His

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“This is an absolutely incredible honor – and I am particularly excited about sharing it with my students and the Academy of Art University community," said Villarreal.

It has been over eleven years since Nicolás P. Villarreal graduated with honors from Academy of Art University and launched his career in animation, but it has been well worth the wait to experience one of the most prestigious honors a filmmaker could ever hope for: a trip to the Cannes Film Festival. Villarreal, who in addition to running Red Clover Studios, is the Director of the Academy of Art University’s School of Visual Development, and is heading to France, where his short film, Pasteurized, will be available to thousands of Cannes Film Festival goers from around the world. Ironically, it was Villarreal’s 1999 trip to Paris, where he visited Museum of Sciences in "Le Parc de la Villete" that sparked the idea for his film about a scientist who receives an unexpected visitor while conducting experiments in the middle of the night. To view the trailer, visit:

Villarreal, who is a full-time faculty member in the animation department, said “This is an absolutely incredible honor – and I am particularly excited about sharing it with my students and the Academy of Art University community. Animation is the ultimate platform to display one’s creativity, and I get a lot of joy out of helping students achieve that. It is very special for me to share this honor with them so that they can see first-hand that their dreams will come true if they work hard.”

Prior to joining the Academy of Art University, Villarreal, who was born and raised in La Plata, Argentina, worked as a traditional animator, character designer, sculptor and Visual Development artist for films and video games including Walt Disney Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Jim Henson Studios, Sega, DigitalDomain and Amazon Studios among others.

Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens said, “We are extremely proud of Nicolás and wish him the very best at Cannes. Our mission at the Academy of Art University is to prepare students for the art and design jobs of today’s global economy, and we are able to do that because of our talented instructors like Nicolás, who are professionals in their fields and passionate about sharing their creative talents and experiences with the next generation.”

Pasteurized is a 7-minute, 33-second short animated film about an alien cow who manufactures milk in space. Villarreal spent over 27 months working on the piece with a small team of sound, animation and editing experts, including editor, producer, and Academy of Art University faculty member Alessandro Squitti, and another Academy of Art University animation alumna and faculty member, Sherrie H. Sinclair, who joined the Academy after a nine-year career at Disney.

Villarreal added, “When I was in school at the Academy, I had an animation teacher who would fly up from Disney to teach us and he used to share his personal work with our class, which was incredibly inspiring. Now today, I am trying to do the same thing for my students. The industry is extremely competitive, but now students have real-life proof that they can make it with hard-work, persistence and patience.”

Villarreal’s film will be featured in a digital library at the Short Film Corner with other leading films. Organized by the Festival de Cannes, the Short Film Corner presents selected short films in its Digital Film Library on site at Cannes and after the Festival on, where private access is exclusively reserved to short film buyers and film festival programmers.

About the Academy of Art University
With more than 18,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation's largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BA, BFA, MA, M.Arch and MFA programs in 21 different majors, as well as continuing art education, with classes in Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Art History(BFA), Fashion, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Jewelry and Metal Arts, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography, Visual Development and Web Design & New Media. Students can also enroll in flexible online degree programs in most majors. Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design), Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA and MFA-IAD) and NAAB (M-ARCH). For more information, visit or call 1-800-544-2787.


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