An excerpt from the published BYU article "BYU students shine at 42nd College Television Awards with multiple top accolades"
This year’s animated short story was Cenote, a heartwarming story about an axolotl named Axel who becomes trapped in a cenote (underwater sinkhole) by mythical magic. Axel is helped by a human named Memo who helps him return to his family. BYU animation student Andrew Pettit served as the film’s producer with fellow students Daniel Villanueva Avalos as director/writer and Samantha Barroso as director.
While the students say winning such a prestigious award is important, they say they're more grateful for formative experiences at BYU that have strengthened their faith and prepared them to serve and lead.
“One thing that's really unique about the BYU animation program is the way the gospel is woven throughout it," said Barroso. "Logically, we should not have been able to finish the film given the amount of time that we had and what we needed to re-do. It was nothing short of a miracle. I prayed so much for this project and it's brought me a lot of joy."
Dozens of students were integral in bringing the film to life – skills from animation, design, commercial music, and computer science were required to produce the film. This is the 20th time since 2003 a BYU animation film has been featured at the Student Emmy’s.
By Tyler Stahle, April 05, 2023