Rahul Thakkar, a Mumbaikar will be recognized with the 2015 Scientific and Technical Achievement Academy Award® for the ground breaking design of the DreamWorks Animation Media Review System
Rahul Thakkar, an engineer, inventor, and global technology executive will be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for his contribution in the advancement of motion picture standards and technology at the Annual Scientific and Technical Awards presentation to be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills on February 13, 2016.
The award was jointly conferred to Rahul Thakkar and Richard Chuang for the ground breaking design of the DreamWorks Animation Media Review System that has been used in over 30 Hollywood feature length films including Antz, 2001 Best Animated Feature Academy Award® winner Shrek, rest of the Shrek films; Madagascar, How to Train You Dragon, and Kung Fu Panda feature films; in fact in almost all of the DreamWorks animated feature films, as well as live-action films such as Legend of Bagger Vance, Forces of Nature, Mission Impossible II, AI – Artificial Intelligence, and many more.
Speaking about receiving the award Rahul Thakkar commented, “It is quite humbling to be recognized for it by AMPAS with a technical achievement award. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that the work we did two decades ago was still in use by the film industry. I am honoured to be sharing this award with Richard Chuang, a mentor and pioneer in VFX. The VFX and animation industry in India has grown in leaps and bounds. The world has enjoyed Hollywood’s coveted live-action VFX films, and animated features, many of which have been made by animation studios across India by an incredible team of Indian artists and technologists. In the years to come, I look forward to seeing many of their names in the list of Academy Award® winners.”
Rahul Thakkar was raised in Mumbai and moved to the US in the early 90s. He studied computer graphics and animation technology at Utah State, and spent nearly a decade in the entertainment industry. At PDI (acquired by DreamWorks in 2001), he was part of their prestigious Research and Development team that created the technology used on its feature films. Since then, he has served as a VP and Chief Engineer in various sectors, such as Defence, GIS, Aerospace, Access Control and Security, Sports and Entertainment, VFX and Film, Cloud Computing and some fun start-ups.
He is the inventor of over 20 patents and edited several technical books and standards documents.
Growing up in India, since age 3, he has appeared multiple times on TV, radio and worked as a voice-over artist.
His father, Chandrakant Thakkar was a writer, actor and director from the 1960s for over 40 years, on stage and TV shows such as Mr. Yogi, Hasraten, and films such as Attenborough’s Gandhi, and Shyam Benegal’s Manthan, Antarnaad and Sangathan.
Rahul’s passions include creating technologies that help people, painting, writing and enjoying being a Dad. Inspired by his mother, in the coming years he plans to help build spacecraft for deep space exploration. Rahul lives with his wife and children in northern Virginia.