Animator and COFA digital media graduate Philip To has won an Annie Award, the animation industry's highest accolade.

At just 26 years old, To took out the Individual Achievement category for Best Character Animation in a Television Production for his work on Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space - DreamWorks Animation. He was up against four other animators - two from DreamWorks and two from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

"I feel very fortunate to have been given the chances to progress my career and work on some amazing projects," says To. "My career has allowed me to travel around the world as well which has been a huge bonus."

The animation was produced as a Halloween special for the United States and was screened in Australia on the Seven Network in November.

The main characters are voiced by Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogan, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland and Rainn Wilson.

To's win at the Annie Awards, which are presented by the Hollywood-based International Animated Film Society, was not his first major coup.

He was part of the team that worked on The Golden Compass which picked up the Oscar in 2007 for Best Visual Effects.

"The Bachelor of Digital Media Degree at COFA was a great starting point," says the Californian-based animator, who adds that he has done further training and plenty of after-hours work to hone his craft.

"I've always had a lot of drive to succeed and my goal since starting my degree at COFA was to work on feature animated films, the same kind which inspired me when I was growing up. So getting to this point was years in the making it seems."

Media contact: Susi Hamilton | UNSW media | 0422 934 024|