Work of Southeast Faculty Member Accepted into International Short Film Festival in Germany


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. April 25, 2011 – A Southeast Missouri State University faculty member’s 3D animated short film has been accepted into the International Short Film Festival Detmold 2011 in Germany.

Peter Chanthanakone, an assistant professor of computer graphics and multimedia at Southeast, will attend the festival June 9-13, in Detmold, Germany.

His film, “Death to the Different,” was selected for inclusion in the festival from more than 3,500 short films received, from more than 75 countries across the globe.

“It is a great honor for me to have been selected from such a huge number of entries. This ultra competitive international festival highlights the things I’ve been able to accomplish with the support of students and the School of Polytechnic Studies,” says Chanthanakone.

All films accepted into the festival are less than 15 minutes long and fit into the categories of fiction, animation, experimental, documentary, or music video. After the screening of each film the directors will lead a 30 minute panel-discussion.

This is a chance to ask questions and speak with other directors about their work, says Chanthanakone.

“I hope to share my film making experience with the rest of the directors who will be in attendance,” he said. “I can’t wait to meet other creative minds who produce such amazing work. It’ll be inspiring and a great opportunity to come up with the next big idea.”

“Death to the Different” was created at Southeast by students from the School of Polytechnic Studies under the direction of Chanthanakone.

“It’s great to be able to share this accomplishment with the students,” he says.

Chanthanakone chose the story and began outlining the film in April 2008. He and a team of students began creating the film in January 2009 after receiving financial support from Southeast’s Grants and Research Funding.  He says his students were invaluable to the process.

“The film could not have been completed without the help of some very dedicated and talented students. I chose to do this film for them because the experience they received will help them infinitely,” Chanthanakone said. “We’re creating a buzz in the School of Polytechnic Studies which will allow us to continue to develop international quality 3D animation.”

Although “Death to the Different” lasts a little under nine minutes, it packs within the story several complex themes including a coming-of-age situation. The film is based on “The Last Dragon,” a book by David Hayes. The short film’s plot focuses on a heartwarming story packed with lessons of overcoming the issues of diversity, the gap between the youth and the elderly brought on by technology, and the lasting effects of a leader’s decisions.

“Death to the Different,” was nominated for “Best Animation-International” at the Filums 2011 5th Annual LUMS Film Festival in Pakistan and has also been accepted into the 7th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival in Hangzhou, China.

As a short film director specializing in 3D animated films, Chanthanakone has won several awards from various film festivals including Top Emerging Artist in 2004 and Best Animation Short Film in 2006. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree with a major in fine arts/multimedia from McMaster University and his master of fine arts degree with a specialization in 3D animation from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He taught at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz., and Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., before coming to Southeast in August 2008.

For more information about “Death to the Different,” visit Chanthanakone’s website,