Jim Trainor

Associate Professor, Film, Video, New Media, and Animation

Jim Trainor has been teaching at SAIC since 2000. He took his sabbatical during the 2022 Academic Year.

Jim Trainor is an experimental filmmaker and animator whose movies investigate the mutable and uneasy space between animal behavior and the human world. His work gravitates toward tales of morality, transgression, angst, and guilt, and explores the grim and realistic habits of animals in their natural habitats to illustrate the divide between bestial instinct and human emotion and logic. Trainor’s hand-drawn animations have a deliberately simple aesthetic, their primitive forms connecting with their subjects – prehistoric animals, the rituals of ancient civilizations, and the basic urges of human and beast.

Trainor’s films have screened at the Whitney Biennial, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Chicago Filmmakers; Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah; New York Animation Festival; Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; Nashville Film Festival; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece; Golden Horse Festival, Taiwan; and La Xina A.R.T., Barcelona. He has received awards from numerous film festivals, including San Francisco International, Black Marial, New York Underground, Cinematexas, Big Muddy, and the Ann Arbor, and was the 2010 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award for the Arts in Film/Video.


1983 BA, Columbia University

Notable Classes Taught:

Drawing for Animation
History of Film Animation