who we are

Max Porter (USA) and Ru Kuwahata (Japan) are award-winning animation directors. Specializing in mixed-media narratives, they are particularly interested in marrying analogue and digital animation techniques, often combining handcrafted art, CG animation, drawn animation, stop-motion and photographic effects.

Since 2008, Max & Ru have been working together as “Tiny Inventions”. They have directed and produced TV commercials, music videos, PSAs and independent films.

Currently living & working in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Their 4th short film, “Negative Space” started its film festival circulation in June, 2017. Please contact Sève Films for distribution.

maxru

hunched_maxru
Max & Ru spend most of their time hunched over things.

………. RESIDENCY ……….

Ciclic, France (June 2016 ~ January 2017)
The Animation Workshop, SEA Concept Development Master Class, Denmark (Feb 2014 for 2 weeks)
Netherlands Institute for Animated Film, Netherlands (June 2011- Dec 2012)

………. AWARDS ……….
Grand Prize: Anima Mundi, Brazil (2017)
Best Animation Technique : Anima Mundi, Brazil (2017)
Jury Award: Stop Motion Barcelona Short Film Festival, Spain (2007)
Prix Movistar+ : UniFrance, France (2017)
Prix Ur Sveriges : UniFrance, France (2017)
Prix Fipresci : Annecy Animation Festival, France (2017)
André-Martin Special Distinction for a French Short Film: Annecy Animation Festival, France (2017)
Best in Show: Animation Block Party, US (2016)
Special Mention from youth jury: Anima Brussels, Belgium (2016)
Special Jury Mention Awards: Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival, US (2016)
Animation Film Finalist: Moondance Film Festival, US (2016)
Award for the best creative: Beijing Film Academy, 15th Animation Academy Awards, China (2015)
Best Work & Excellent Award: AsiaGraph CG Art Gallery, Japan (’15)
Nomination Award for the best design: Beijing Film Academy, 15th Animation Academy Awards, China (2015)
Nominated for Best Animation: Queens World Film Festival, USA (2016)
Jury Selection: Japan Media Arts Festival, Japan (2015)
Best Animation Award Boston International Film Festival, USA (2015)
2nd prize:Athens International Film and Video Festival, USA (2015)
Local Jury Award: USA Film Festival, USA (2015)
1st place, Independent Film Category: ASIFA-East, USA (2015)
Animation Film Finalist: Moondance Film Festival, US (2015)
Grand Prix: AsiaGraph CG Art Gallery, Japan (2015)
Best Animated Short: Austin Film Festival, USA (2014)
#1 Mention Expotoons, Argentina (2014)
AACA Special Award Expotoons, Argentina (2014)
Honorable Mention CG Anime Contest, Japan (2014)
Best Animated Film: Queens World Film Festival, USA (2012)
Best Animated Short: RiverRun International Film Festival, USA (2012)
Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short: Nashville Film Festival, USA (2011)
Best American Spectrum-short film: Indianapolis Int Film Festival, USA (2011)
Best short animation: Cortolovere Film Festival, Italy (2011)
Best animated short film: Palo Alto International Film Festival, USA (2011)
Best of the fest: Freeky Creek Short Film Festival, USA (2011)
Best Animation: Anchorage Int Film Festival, USA (2011)
1st prize: Independent film, ASIFA-East , USA (2010)
1st prize: Premio Simona Gesmundo Corti D’Animazione, Italy (2010)
2nd prize: narrative, CutOut Fest, Mexico (2010)
Finalist: animation, Vimeo Festival + Awards, USA (2010)
1st place: commissioned music video Kalamazoo Film Festival, US (2010)
2nd place: sponsored film over 2 min ASIFA East Animation Festival, US (2009)
Honorable mention Kids Film Festival, US (2009)
Director’s choice- Black Maria Film & Video Festival (2009)
3rd place Jay Sanders Film Festival, US (2006)
Society of Illustrators, student competition scholarship award (2005)
2nd prize: Dong-A LG animation festival, Korea (2004)
special award: Krok animation festival, Russia/Ukraine (2004)

………. TALKS / WORKSHOPS……….
The Governor’s School for the Arts, VA (2017)
Ciclic Animation, France (2016)
Miniature Lighting workshop @ Maryland Institute College of Art, BFA Film (2016)
Women in Film & Video, DC (2015)
Lunch Lecture @ Maryland Institute College of Art, MFA Illustration (2015)
Stop motion workshop @ Maryland Institute College of Art, MFA Illustration (2014 & 2015)
Concept Development workshop & Artist Talk @Anibar, Kosovo (2014)
Laputa Art Animation School, Japan (2014)
Character workshop & Artist Talk @CutOut Fest, Queretaro, Mexico (2013)
Tecnologio de Monterrey, Mexico (2013)
University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2013)
North Dakota University (2012)
Rhode Island School of Design (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017)
NIAf-Utrecht University (2012)
NIAf- Amsterdam University (2011)
Dutch Design Week (with NIAF), the Netherlands (2011)
Cal Arts (2011)
Animation workshop @ Museum of Moving Image (2011)
School of Visual Arts (2011)
Pratt Institute(2011)
Parsons the New School for Design (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014 & 2015)
Fashion Institute of Technology (2010, 2011)
Philadelphia University (2011)
Southern Utah University (2011)
Sundance Film Festival- Park City High School (2011)
After Effects New York (2010)
Animation Workshop @Japan Society (2009)
Sesame Workshop (2008)
Monroe Community College (2008)
Women in Animation (2008 & 2009)

………. TEACHING ……….

Max is a full-time faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art, BFA Animation (2012-present)
Recipient of “Excellence in Teaching” 2015
past: part-time faculty @ Parsons the New School for Design, Design and Technology Department (2006-2010)
past: thesis advisor @ School of Visual Arts, MFA Computer art (2011 spring)

Ru has taught as a part-time faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art, BFA Animation (2014-2015, 2017) & MFA Illustration (2015)
past: part-time faculty @ Parsons the New School for Design, Pre-College Department (2007-2010)
past: thesis advisor @ School of Visual Arts, MFA Computer art (2010 fall, 2011 spring, 2012 fall, 2013 spring)

………. CLIENTS ……….

Ben & Jerry’s (Ad Agency: Mekanism)
Amplify
Fable Vision
Arm & Hammer / Orajel (Ad Agency: Colangelo)
Ralph Lauren
Sprout
They Might Be Giants
Jakks Pacific
David Yurman
Sesame Workshop
Child Abuse Prevention Services
Museyon
Digital Downtown

………. PUBLICATION / BROADCAST ……….
The Hollywood Reporter (2017)
Animation Magazine (2017)
Animation World Network (2017)
Variety (2017)
La Croix(2017)
Tonko House Podcast (2017)
Skwigly Animation Magazine(2017)
Tampen.jp(2016)
Cartoon Brew (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016)
Motionographer (2009,2010, 2010, 2015)
Maxon Cinema4D (2015)
Ceiga (2015)
Crem.JP(2015)
Cute Overload (2015)
CGSociety (2014, 2015, 2016)
CG Society Meet the Artists, Australia(’14)
Baltimore City Paper (2014)
Lynda.com “Creative Sparks” documentary subject (2014)
Indiewire Animation Scoop (’14)
IDN v18 and IDN “Best of Collection 2011” (2011)
Animation Reporter, India (2011)
Share it! Magazine, Columbia (2011)
Animation Magazine, USA (2011)
Variety, USA (2011)
Eizo Shinbun, Japan (2011)
WebDesigning, Japan (2011)
Stash Magazine 71, USA (2010)
Computer Arts Magazine UK, UK (2010)
CG Magazine China, China (2010)
Red Giant (2010)

Canal + Poland (2011-2013)
NBC Universal, Italy (2011-2012)
Sparrowhawks Int, Greece / Cyprus/ Turkey (2011-2012)
Imagica TV, Japan (2011-2013)
RTS, Switzerland (2011-2013)
Office H, Japan (2012)
Warner on Demand, Japan (2012)
Shorts I Sighted!, USA (2012)
Good Morning Virginia, USA (2007)
Backdrop NYC (2006)

………. GRANTS ……….
CNC, France (2016)
Mairie de Paris, France (2016)
CICLIC Film Fund & Residency, France (2016-2017)
Arte, France (2016)
Marcella Brenner Grant from Maryland Institute College of Art (2013, 2014, 2015)
Sondheim Prize 2014 semi-finalist (2014, 2015)
Lucas Grant from Maryland Institute College of Art (2013, 2014, 2015)
The Puffin Foundation Ltd. Filmmaker Grant (2010, 2015)
The Netherlands Institute for Animation Film, Tilburg Netherlands (2011-2012)

………. JUDGE ……….
Motionographer – THE MOTION AWARDS – short film category (2017)
CutOut Fest, student competition (2013)
Society of Illustrators 56, Moving Image cateogry (2013)