Athena Studios, an Emeryville, CA-based company specializing in animation for film and multimedia clients, is currently in production on a new, stop-motion animated short film entitled "Mermaids on Mars." The announcement was made today by Jon V. Peters, Founder of Athena Studios and Director of the new film.

"Mermaids on Mars" came to Athena Studios from children's book author Nancy Guettier, who is producing the film. Guettier had written the book that the film is loosely based on in 2012, as a dedication to her three adopted children. The multitalented Guettier also wrote the five songs that are featured in the short. The story behind "Mermaids on Mars" centers around a young boy named Julian who takes a fantastic adventure to Mars. There, he discovers that the last surviving mermaids in the universe are living in a small body of water on that planet.

Athena Studios is doing all of the production work and animation on the film. The studio also helped to adapt the original full-length screenplay by Guettier and Jarrett Galante into a short film format.

To bring the story of "Mermaids on Mars" to life, Athena has assembled a notable crew comprised of a number of stop-motion animation and feature film luminaries. Among these crew members: Athena Producer Kat Alioshin ("Nightmare Before Christmas," "Coraline," "James and the Giant Peach," "Corpse Bride,") Director of Photography Pete Kozachik (""Star Wars: Attack of the Clones," "Corpse Bride," "Ghostbusters 2," "Nightmare Before Christmas,") Cinematographer Timothy Taylor ("Back to the Future 2," "Frankenweenie," "Coraline,") Art Director Tom Proost ("Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," "A.I.," "James and the Giant Peach," "The Matrix 2 and 3,") and Puppet Fabricator Victoria Rose Zalewski ("Coraline," "Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas.")
Guettier found Athena Studios while seeking a production company with which to collaborate in translating her book into film. She discovered that Athena is currently in-production on a stop motion animated feature film "Auntie Claus" - a discovery that made an instant connection with the author. Working with Jon Peters to shorten the story and with Athena's designers, Guettier and the rest of the Athena team developed a fanciful 20-minute piece that combines stop-motion, live action and music to bring to life what Peters calls, "Truly a wonderful tale."

The short film "Mermaids on Mars" will be released in January 2015 to film festivals. Athena Studios has started a "Mermaids on Mars" Facebook page to provide a sneak peek at the film's production:

Nancy Guettier is a senior executive at Pottery Barn Kids and has been working in the children's retail industry for 24 years. She is an author and songwriter and has written four children's books, all dedicated to her adopted children Genevieve, Julian and Jude. To learn more about Guettier's work, please visit:

Athena Studios was launched as a full service production facility for film and video. In 2013, Athena Studios also began to develop its own original content for motion pictures, television and the web, in addition to producing outside projects

Athena Studios is located in Emeryville, CA, in the heart of Northern California's "New Hollywood" -- near Pixar, Tippett Studios and Ex'pression College for Digital Arts. For more information, please see: