CGT grad directs award winning "The Girl and the Fox"

Tyler Kupferer, director of award winning short-film “The Girl and the Fox,” says that Purdue experiences such as Martin Jischke's President's Leadership Program and the Digital Cinema Contest gave him the skills to be a successful director.

Kupferer is a 2008 graduate of the computer graphics technology program.

“The computer graphics technology program also gave me a huge opportunity to develop [leadership] skills in an open environment, where I could build teams and lead them toward completing large media projects,” said Kupferer.

“The Girl and the Fox” is the product of Base14, a film and animation studio that was founded by Kupferer and his sister Alysha in 2002. Alysha is a Purdue graduate of the apparel design and technology program.

Kupferer says that the inspiration for the film came from Alysha’s 2010 apparel collection that featured “children coexisting with woodland creatures, cold environments, and the mystical qualities of the forest.”

The story of the film revolves around a conflict between nine-year-old Ilona and a fox in a visually stunning wintry forest. After many different versions of the film, Kupferer decided on a compelling storyline that fit within six minutes. The film premiered online on June 4, 2012.

Since the release of the film, it has received many honors, including ASIFA-East Awards for Excellence in Design and Palm Springs International ShortFest’s Official Selection.

“My goal when making ‘The Girl and the Fox’ always had been to get nominated for the Student Academy Awards (SAA), and we did just that,” Kupferer said about the award that he is most proud of. “So perhaps as far as a sense of achievement, I’m most proud that we actually reached such a lofty goal.”

Being nominated for the SAA is one of the highest honors a student filmmaker can receive. As a result, Kupferer and ‘The Girl and the Fox’ have received attention from distributors and agents.

Base14 and “The Girl and the Fox” were further honored with a nomination for the 2012 Annie Awards. The Annie Awards are “animation’s highest honor,” according to the Annie Awards website, and often recognizes studios like Disney, Pixar and Warner Bros.

“The Annies was a blast, too, because we got to attend the award show and meet all kinds of stars and legends of the animation industry,” Kupferer said.

Aside from awards, Kupferer is very excited about the attention from regular viewers. The film has been viewed nearly 50,000 times at the time of his interview and received recognition by art and video blogs. Kupferer says that this is a lot of recognition “for something that's completely original content with no [pre-established] reputation.”