Young WA animator dazzles at SIGGRAPH

Asset Publisher

16 April 2024

Reward and recognition

Harrisdale Senior High School student Keina Sugiyama’s short ‘The Star Keeper’ shone at SIGGRAPH Asia in Sydney, taking out the second spot in the 2023 Junior Computer Animation festival in its inaugural year.

SIGGRAPH is the premier international conference for animation and special effects and has been a launching pad for some of the biggest names in the industry. Among them, Pixar stands out, having debuted its iconic film ‘Luxo Jr.’ at the conference's computer animation festival in 1986.

Keina Sugiyama's animation ‘The Star Keeper’ was named runner-up at SIGGRAPH.

The computer animation festival at SIGGRAPH Asia attracted 382 submissions, contributed by 595 artists, from 14 countries. 

SIGGRAPH is the ‘Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques’.  

In addition to her massive achievement in the animation festival, Keina’s short feature was also seen by professionals and industry leaders from companies including Sony, Disney, Industrial Light and Magic, and Weta FX.  

‘The Star Keeper’ follows Everest, a diligent Star Keeper tasked with placing stars in the night sky.  

One night, Everest, despite a lack of motivation, decides to undertake this crucial responsibility. As Everest ascends to the stars, a transformation occurs, fuelled by memories of the intrinsic satisfaction and unique connection with these celestial bodies.

"For my short animation ‘The Star Keeper’ I drew inspiration from cartoons such as ‘Bee and Puppycat’ and ‘Steven Universe’ which heavily influenced the art style,” Keina said. 

“When I found out about my placing, I was in complete disbelief.  

“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before, and I am so grateful that something I made was seen by the SIGGRAPH community.” 

You can watch Keina Sugiyama’s ‘The Star Keeper’ on YouTube

‘The Star Keeper’ animation follows Everest, a diligent Star Keeper tasked with placing stars in the night sky.

Find out about SIGGRAPH 2024 through its website.