Sunnyvale's Cogswell College Project X Alumni Shine for Academy Award Nominated Films in Animation and VFX

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cogswell College, one of the world's leading regionally-accredited institutions offering a unique curriculum that fuses digital arts, engineering and entrepreneurship, is pleased to announce that 8 of its Project X animation program alumni worked on 5 of this year's Academy Award-nominated films. These films include: The Croods, Frozen, Iron Man 3, Pacific Rim and Thor: The Dark World. In 2013, Cogswell boasted four Project X alumni who were on the Academy Award-winning Life of Pi animation and VFX teams and a total of 14 Oscar-nominated films whose credits included Project X alumni.

Just last month, Cogswell announced the appointment of industry veteran Timothy Heath as director of their award-winning animation program, Project X. Heath previously served with Electronic Arts, Nvidia, Industrial Light & Magic, and most recently, Short Stack Films in a development deal for 20th Century Fox.

"Tim is an extraordinary person and a creatively sophisticated artist," says Jerome Solomon, academic dean and director of the game design and development program at Cogswell. "I met him at Electronic Arts where he was an important part of our gameplay animation team. Since then, I have seen him grow artistically in so many amazing ways. I truly value his creative leadership and look forward to what he will bring to our beloved college."

"I have been part of the senior animation team on a range of projects, from Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest, which received an Oscar for 'best VFX' in 2007, to one of the Lord of the Rings video games. Project X students dive into their work like true industry pros," says Heath. "I'll be overseeing the fourth film produced by Project X. It's incredibly exciting to see the level of energy and expertise these students bring to the project every day." Heath has introduced new software to the program, such as V-Ray for rendering and Nuke for compositing, and is teaching fur technology to push the look of the new film.

Worlds Apart, the second Project X animated short, was an official selection at over 40 national and international film festivals and won awards in over one-third of those submissions. Project X's latest release, Driven, is just beginning to make the film festival rounds.

It is estimated that over 90% of all Hollywood films contain CGI elements. For Cogswell's Project X graduates, that means there should be no shortage of work in the industry.

About Cogswell College

Located in Sunnyvale, California, in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Cogswell College is a WASC accredited four-year institution of higher education with a curriculum that fuses art, engineering and entrepreneurship ( As one of the Bay Area's premier colleges, its novel academic approach offers an integrated model that emulates the industry environment—a collaborative, project-based, learning experience that uses multidisciplinary teams to take projects from concept through the delivery pipeline.

Cogswell College alumni credentials include Modern Warfare 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Gears of War 3 and blockbuster films including Life of Pi, Madagascar, and The Avengers. Student-created films have garnered scores of national awards ( Cogswell alumni have gone on to careers with Activision, DreamWorks, Disney, Electronic Arts, Pixar and Microsoft Game Studio as well as starting their own creative ventures.

CONTACT: Bonnie Phelps Cogswell College 408-498-5145 Kimberly Hathaway Gallagher PR 415-994-1097Source:Cogswell College