Multimedia Oscars 2021: Student videos depict places for daydreaming

December 9, 2021

The Azrieli School’s annual “Oscars” event, celebrating work by first-year students in the Introduction to Multimedia course, took place on December 8 with the theme “A Place for Daydreaming.” 


Twelve students received recognition for outstanding short videos in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Story and Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Soundtrack, and Best Cinematography.  


This year brought “plenty of amazing and beautiful work,” noted Adjunct Professor Adriana Ross, who runs the course. Because the jury had a hard time choosing, they selected two recipients in each category. 


“There were so many good ones,” said juror Thi Phuong Tram Nguyen. 


Seventy-three out of 103 students submitted videos, ranging from 23 to 90 seconds, for consideration. 


Over 100 people attended the online screening of the entries. “My eyes were glued to my screen as it was clear how much effort each and every student put into their final submission,” said student Dylan Sinn. 


The course introduces first-year students to various multimedia techniques in architectural representation such as collage, Photoshop, video-making, architectural drawing, and photography. 


For this final assignment, the students were asked to create a video using movie editing software. The goal was to deconstruct their drawings or models and then reuse the leftovers as building blocks and materials to design and construct a space or room for daydreaming.  


The prompts included: “Our dreams and the places we dream in are a manifestation of our imagination and reflect our quest for the unimagined possibilities of the impossibilities in which we construct, deconstruct, and recycle the successes of our explorations through our journey.” 


The teaching assistants were Reem Awad, David Bastien-Allard, Vedad Haghighi, Claire Merrick, Daniela Olivares, and Alexandra Telford. 


The jury members: 

Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon, Contract Instructor 

Claudio Sgarbi, Adjunct Professor 

Thi Phuong Tram Nguyen, PhD candidate 

Michelle-Andrea Girouard, Master of Architecture student and filmmaker 

Ben Telford, Owner of Ben Telford Visuals video production company 

Shannon Clark, Studio Teaching Fellow 

Josh Wallace, 2019 Master of Architecture graduate and intern architect 


See below the list of winners, their videos, and jury comments.

Best Film Editing 

Ji Young Chung — Before the Beginning and After the End 

Student Statement: This short video is about how ideas come about and easily disappear. They’re like dreams. Once we wake up, we may not remember the dreams, but we know we dreamt. 


Jury Comments 

This video brilliantly experiments with drawing through deconstruction and animation, thus making the medium alive. The jury appreciated how the student moved from  one scene to another and transformed the image and the media. 

Willem Girard — A Creative Endeavor

Student Statement: The simplest of products have the most perplexing development. I aimed to exhibit a convoluted procedure that creates a serene and gentle space for daydreaming. This contrast between an elaborate process and a pristine result parallels the thought process behind my projects throughout the semester. 


Jury Comments 

A beautiful collection of deconstructions and reconstructions, this video is a surprising encounter between media combining rhythm, lightness, and complexity. The jury appreciated how the student moved from one scene to another and transformed the image and the media. 

Best Visual Effects 

Raquel Azevedo — Synthetic Incubation 

Student Statement: This film explores the growing relationship between industrialization and the environment as we progress technologically. 


Jury Comments 

Azevedo’s understanding of poetry and beauty shines through in her animation of architectural graphics blooming into a tree. The jury was seduced by the visual effects of the ever-growing plant-like drawing, the perfectly executed collages, and rhythmic sound. She brought nature to the screen. 

Dylan Sinn — The Journey of Frustration 

Student Statement: This video was made to encapsulate my emotions throughout the completion of my projects. We see a man approach the empty desert just as I did at the start of the term. Although the viewer just experienced it, the innocent man has yet to find what awaits him.   


Jury Comments 

This film is a thoughtful narrative encapsulating the creative journey and its challenges through impressive visual and materially-rich sound effects. It had good transitions, and the visual effects were impressive. The narrative was strong, with incredible references to the creative journey. We also appreciated the soundtrack. 

Best Soundtrack 

Isaac Fortin — Ascension

Student Statement: This video is a journey upwards through a multilayered dream space. Challenging the reality of gravity as the marble moves upwards instead of downwards with gravity. Ending in a final space that brings one back to the reality of waking up in the morning. 


Jury Comments 

Many of us were impressed by the use of sound and how playful it made the marble’s journey through the obstacle course of paper slides, metal wire frames, and ladders. By isolating the sound and omitting music, we were sucked into this singular point of view that would ultimately set off the most dreaded morning alarm clock.

Nan Jiang— Colour Detector

Student Statement: My film tells a story about colour. Under the guidance of a red balloon, a little man enters the colour world from the world of black and white and finally finds his own colour. 


Jury Comments 

Brilliantly animated, this film is a tender visual journey through colour and space. It brought us back to childhood. By focusing on the red balloon and panning from wide shots to closeups of the main character, we felt the joy and serenity of the piece. 

Best Cinematography

Emma Mclaughlin — A Treacherous Journey 

Student Statement: An entity on a journey to find something, perhaps within their destination and/or within themselves. An homage to the occasional struggle when searching for creativity. 


Jury Comments 

Mclaughlin did a wonderful job mixing audio, multimedia, and colour to transport the viewer into a lucid and dreamy atmosphere. The sound effects add a wonderful dimension to the visually compelling and highly atmospheric narrative.  

Charbel Gangnon — The Run

Student Statement: Running, but not knowing what you’re running from. Running, but not knowing where you’re running to. These are the worst possible emotions one can feel in times of crisis. 


Jury Comments 

Gangnon’s piece made us all believe we were running alongside the protagonist in a heart-pumping video game chase scene. He mixed film and reality with animation and abstraction beautifully. We felt the anxiety, the darkness of the scene. A very successful piece. It demonstrated an intricate interaction with the spaces of the models.    

Best Story and Screenplay 

Angelica Bradley — A Second Life 

Student Statement: This is a story of repurposing the damaged and making something new through the recycling of the existing. It features a family whose home is destroyed, the pieces reduced to nothing more than a pile of debris, yet they come together again to create a new home up above the clouds.  


Jury Comments 

This piece was beautifully executed, poetic, and stunningly represented. The film is a brilliant narrative involving a model whose pieces fly in the wind and reconstitute after being scattered. It is metatextual in its transmediality. “It really touched my heart,” said one juror. 

Dominic Dumond — Vivipary 

Student Statement: I’ve been interested by flowers and nature from a young age. I built my storyline off the natural phenomenon called vivipary, where a seed germinates within the parent plant. I created the germination process through animation by constructing and deconstructing previous projects with new elements from this project.  


Jury Comments 

This film is a poetic narrative using stunning colours and beautifully crafted compositions. Dumond’s piece, which takes the viewer into the microscopic, abstract world of a seed growing inside a paper flower, was captivating. From the warm red tones and sounds of the heart to the bee completing the cycle, we were all touched by his artistic approach. 

Best Picture  

Sasha Lapointe Lawless The_Corporate_Sea_Pt._I_/Empty_Businessmen/Sleeping_With_The_Fishes/

Student Statement: Keeping an open mind, staying true to oneself, and welcoming growth are crucial in a world of numbers, money, performance, and artificial happiness. One’s hope is not be to be an empty businessman hooked on a money line by a fisherman. 


Jury Comments 

His command of storytelling, visual effects, and sound blend seamlessly to birth a beautiful piece. He mixed a Radiohead song with his own sound effects and voice recordings, creating a masterpiece. The strong narrative was complemented by intricate spatial explorations, scenographic collages, spotless editing, and soundtrack. “I had to put my pencil down to stop and stare in awe,” said one juror. 

Michele Chung — Passage 

Student Statement: Remember to take a seat in life, open up your scroll and search for those passages that truly makes you happy. What are those passages in your life? Do they transport you to your happy space?  


Jury Comments 

“From the cinematography to the sound design, to the narrative structure, everything was extremely cohesive. It demonstrated exceptional creativity. This is a richly animated and illustrated film with various spatial encounters between drawings, models, and characters. The use of sound makes for an original and playful piece.