Kim Ferrari Talks Love of Art and Her Film 'Sisters'

The animation student and her twin sister Chiara’s thesis project has been highly praised for its quality


A still from 'Sisters.' Courtesy of Chiara Ferrari.

Our latest animation profile features Kim Ferrari. Ferrari and her twin, Chiara, created their film, Sisters, for their thesis project. The short won first place for its background painting and layout design at the 2015 Spring Show. At the end of spring, Ferrari was offered a position to work on the show The Awesomes.

Why an M.F.A. degree in 2-D/traditional animation & stop motion at the Academy? 

Art was something I always did with my sister Chiara. We grew up in a big family, and we loved to entertain each other. In high school, we drew and exchanged stories constantly. We also found it therapeutic when tougher things came up. When it came time to go to college, Chiara and I were nervous about pursuing art, so we decided to focus on other studies. Eventually, it was hard to ignore how much we enjoyed it, so we decided to apply to AAU. There, I realized that there was a strong industry supporting art. So I dedicated myself to it best I could and realized that the myth of the ‘starving artist’ isn’t always true. There is a strong industry behind animation, and it’s growing every day.


Chiara Ferrari and Kim Ferrari presenting their final thesis film, “Sisters,” with Director Sherrie H. Sinclair and Associate Director Diana Coco-Russell. Courtesy of Chiara Ferrari.

Name three big influences during your time as a student at the Academy.

I like all things relatable and sarcastic. Author David Sedaris has been an inspiration to me for a long time as well as actors like Fred Armisen. NPR’s StoryCorps inspires me too. It sounds like a random assortment of things, but they all focus on daily life, both good and bad, and in a charming way.

In less than three sentences, what is your film about?

Sisters is a light-hearted story about two nuns, Mother Superior and a jollier nun nicknamed Little Sister. The two are very different but must learn to appreciate each other or face some pretty dire consequences!

While you were working on your thesis project, which personified emotion from Inside Out would you have been?

Joy! Completing a thesis at AAU means managing your schedule, tracking your progress, doing the boards, characters, environments, animation, pitch and etc. It was overwhelming at times, but in all honesty, the majority of the project felt rewarding and was a lot of fun. 

What tools and programs did you use to make your film?

TV Paint, Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects and good old paper and pencil.


A still from 'Sisters.' Courtesy of Chiara Ferrari.

Why did you decide to submit your film into festivals? 

When we work as much as we do on our films, we begin to think about very minute things. Like whether or not a character’s fingernails look correct. You and your director will debate about how pointed is too pointed for a fingernail and how much that matters for your success in the industry. When you share your film with others, it’s rewarding in a bigger way. You see people bob their heads to the music or turn to the person next to them and say, “That was hilarious.” And suddenly you’re not stressing about the nails anymore. It feels great!

After graduating from the Academy, what are you up to now?

I recently finished up a contract at Bento Box Entertainment. I was part of the team that worked on season three of a show called The Awesomes.

If you could only watch one film on constant replay for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I love Shrek, but having to watch it on replay for the rest of my life might be asking too much…


For the full interview with links to Ferrari’s work, please visit