PLATFORM Animation Festival Opens Friday in L.A.

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PLATFORM, the inter­na­tion­ally acclaimed ani­ma­tion fes­ti­val, is host­ing a three-day event in Los Ange­les from Fri­day to Sun­day, Octo­ber 26 to 28.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with CalArts and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts The­ater (REDCAT), PLATFORM will show­case excit­ing and inno­v­a­tive new ani­mated films and tal­ent while also cel­e­brat­ing animation’s her­itage through spe­cial screen­ings and infor­ma­tive panel discussions.

Draw­ing upon some of the fresh­est per­spec­tives on the world of ani­ma­tion, fes­ti­val direc­tor Irene Kot­larz has dis­cov­ered a new gen­er­a­tion of cura­tors for this year’s fes­ti­val. Says Kot­larz, “It has been a spe­cial plea­sure this year to work with a tal­ented group of CalArts ani­ma­tion stu­dents who have helped select the pro­gram. Their cre­ative think­ing per­fectly com­ple­ments the festival’s mis­sion to be a plat­form for artists, to break bound­aries, and to reflect devel­op­ments in new media. Together we are really excited to bring PLATFORM to Los Ange­les with an out­stand­ing range of pre­mieres, exclu­sive screen­ings, and spe­cial guests.”

CalArts dean of the School of Film/Video Steve Anker is thrilled to have his stu­dents part­ner in craft­ing the event for Los Ange­les. “The PLATFORM Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val makes a great case for the con­tin­ued vital­ity of ani­ma­tion as an inde­pen­dent, per­sonal art form. In just one week­end, an aston­ish­ing array of pro­grams has been orga­nized that will give L.A. view­ers a chance to see dozens of films, rang­ing from the begin­ning of cin­ema to the lat­est Inter­net sen­sa­tions, that together present a won­der­ful kalei­do­scope of ani­ma­tion as a visual art,” says Anker.

Intro­duc­ing films that have won world­wide acclaim to ani­ma­tion fans in Los Ange­les, PLATFORM will screen high­lights from the Annecy Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val. One pro­gram will focus on stu­dent films, and a sec­ond will present films from estab­lished artists, offer­ing view­ers a wide vari­ety of story-telling and styl­is­tic entertainment.

Embrac­ing the lat­est plat­forms for ani­ma­tion, the fes­ti­val will fea­ture both screen­ings and pan­els that focus on how the inter­net has changed the indus­try. Show­cas­ing another realm of ground­break­ing ani­ma­tion, PLATFORM is hon­ored to present a spe­cial pre­view screen­ing of Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios’ Paper­man, fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion with the key film­mak­ers of this short film.

To honor the his­tory of ani­ma­tion and those who have bro­ken bound­aries through the years, PLATFORM will share spe­cial ret­ro­spec­tive screen­ings of some of the stu­dent films from CalArts’ most famous alumni, such as John Las­seter and Craig McCracken. Reach­ing even fur­ther back into ani­ma­tion his­tory, PLATFORM will present an archival screen­ing of the short films by Ladis­las Stare­witch, the sur­re­al­is­tic stop-motion pio­neer. His work in the 1910s to 1950s ini­ti­ated the genre of fan­tas­ti­cal, gothic stop-motion ani­ma­tion whose line of influ­ence can be traced directly to con­tem­po­rary film­mak­ers like Tim Bur­ton and Henry Selick.

Funded in part with gen­er­ous sup­port from the Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences, PLATFORM is hon­ored to have addi­tional sup­port from its found­ing spon­sor Car­toon Net­work, as well as Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Ani­ma­tion and ASIFA Hollywood.

The sched­ule for the fes­ti­val is as follows:

Fri­day, Octo­ber 26

7:30 p.m.: Ladis­las Stare­witch. A rare screen­ing of 35mm archival prints of short films by the influ­en­tial sur­re­al­is­tic stop-motion pio­neer played to live music. Polish-born Stare­witch lived most of his life in Paris, cre­at­ing fan­tas­ti­cal, sophis­ti­cated and enter­tain­ing nar­ra­tive films fea­tur­ing strange insect and ani­mal char­ac­ters. The com­pi­la­tion screen­ing will include such titles as L’Epouvantail (The Scare­crow), Amour Noir et Blanc (Love in Black and White), La Reine des Papil­lons (Queen of the But­ter­flies) and Les Yeux du Dragon (Eyes of the Dragon).

10 p.m.: Best of World Stu­dent Ani­ma­tion. Screen­ing of selec­tions from Annecy 2012 rep­re­sent­ing a broad spec­trum of schools from all over the world. The pro­gram will include such award-winning stu­dent films as I’m Fine Thanks, directed by Eamonn O’Neill, and The Mak­ing of Long­bird, directed by Will Anderson.

Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 27

12 noon: Stream­ing: A Con­ver­sa­tion About Ani­ma­tors on the Web. Panel dis­cus­sion to help answer the ques­tions that today’s ani­ma­tors today face, con­sid­er­ing the bewil­der­ing array of options and plat­forms for get­ting their work out to an audi­ence: Should they put it out on the Web, and if so, which site? Should they give it away for free, or can they make money? Should they invite com­ments? Should they hold off and try to get into fes­ti­vals? Will they miss the boat? Pan­elists include Jason Sondhi (Vimeo), among oth­ers. Mod­er­ated by Aaron Simp­son (Mondo Media).

2 p.m.: Pre­view of Disney’s Paper­man. Spe­cial screen­ing fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion with direc­tor John Kahrs, art direc­tor Jeff Tur­ley and ani­ma­tion super­vi­sor Patrick Osborne. Apply­ing a tech­nique that seam­lessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn ani­ma­tion tech­niques, first-time direc­tor John Kahrs takes the art of ani­ma­tion in a bold new direc­tion in this short film.

4:30 p.m.: Best of World Ani­ma­tion. Screen­ing of selec­tions from Annecy 2012. Films include Michaela Pavlátová’s Grand Prix win­ner Tram (2012) and exper­i­men­tal artist Stephen Irwin’s Ottawa Grand Prix-winner Moxie (2011). Other award-winning films include Hisko Helsing’s Junk­yard (2012), which just won the Nel­vana Grand Prize for Best Inde­pen­dent Short Ani­ma­tion at the 2012 Ottawa Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val, and Oh, Willy (2011) by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, which has won Best Euro­pean Ani­ma­tion Short Film at Car­toon D’or and Grand Prix for Shorts at the Hol­land Ani­ma­tion Film Fes­ti­val this year.

7: p.m.: PES: A Ret­ro­spec­tive. Spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion. The direc­tor and ani­ma­tor of numer­ous witty short stop-motion films and com­mer­cials, PES has a huge fol­low­ing at fes­ti­vals and on the Inter­net. PES will screen and dis­cuss a selec­tion of his work. includ­ing his renowned The Deep (2011).

Sun­day, Octo­ber 28

12 noon: “Awe­some” Car­toon Net­work. Screen­ing and panel. A selec­tion of shows and cre­ative inter­sti­tials that exem­plify an influ­en­tial trend in TV and Inter­net ani­ma­tion, appear­ing first in the network’s Pow­er­puff Girls. Reach­ing its height with the pio­neer­ing Adven­ture Time, the cul­ture of “awe­some” empha­sizes a clean and bub­bly esthetic, pos­i­tiv­ity, and dis­tinc­tive, ran­dom humor. The screen­ing will be fol­lowed by a panel of Car­toon Net­work artists, includ­ing Pendle­ton Ward (Adven­ture Time) and JG Quin­tel (Reg­u­lar Show). Intro­duced by Rob Sor­cher, chief con­tent offi­cer at Car­toon Net­work, and mod­er­ated by Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine editor-in-chief Ramin Zahed.

2:30 p.m.: CalArts: A 40-Year Evo­lu­tion, Pro­gram 1. Screen­ing. A ret­ro­spec­tive of CalArts ani­ma­tion, first pre­sented at Annecy 2012. Two screen­ings of exam­ples from four decades of CalArts’ pro­grams in char­ac­ter and exper­i­men­tal ani­ma­tion, fea­tur­ing stu­dent films by John Las­seter, Henry Selick, Craig McCracken and Steve Hil­len­burg, as well as more recent grad­u­ates, includ­ing Miwa Matreyek and Kirsten Lepore.

5 p.m.: Life After Col­lege. A dis­tin­guished panel that spans sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of CalArts grad­u­ates who have been suc­cess­ful in var­i­ous fields of the indus­try as cre­ators of suc­cess­ful TV series, as stand­out ani­ma­tors on the Web, or as prac­tic­ing inde­pen­dent artists. As they dis­cuss their paths from grad­u­a­tion to artis­tic and pro­fes­sional suc­cess, the pan­elists will offer a range of options as role mod­els for aspir­ing young artists. Pan­elists include Alex Hirsch, cre­ator of Grav­ity Falls; Craig McCracken, cre­ator of Pow­er­puff Girls and Won­der Over Yon­der; Mike Moon, vice-president of cre­ative at Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion; Michael Pat­ter­son, exper­i­men­tal film artist, teacher and com­mer­cial film­maker; and Miwa Matreyek, ani­ma­tor, designer and multi-media artist. Mod­er­a­tor: Jerry Beck. With thanks for gen­er­ous sup­port from Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Animation.

8 p.m.: CalArts: A 40-Year Evo­lu­tion, Pro­gram 2. Screen­ing. A ret­ro­spec­tive of CalArts ani­ma­tion, first pre­sented at Annecy 2012.

The 2012 Plat­form Inter­na­tional Fes­ti­val takes place at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts The­ater (REDCAT). REDCAT is located at 631 West Sec­ond Street in down­town Los Ange­les at the cor­ner of Hope Street, inside the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall com­plex. Park­ing is avail­able in the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall park­ing struc­ture and in adja­cent lots.

Tick­ets are $10 for the gen­eral pub­lic, $8 for mem­bers. Dis­counts are avail­able for multi-program pur­chases. Tick­ets may be pur­chased by call­ing (213) 237.2800, at www.redcat.org, or in per­son at the REDCAT Box Office on the cor­ner of West Sec­ond and Hope Streets (30 min­utes free park­ing with val­i­da­tion). Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. through Sat­ur­day and two hours prior to curtain.

PLATFORM is part of the ongo­ing Jack H. Skir­ball “Film at REDCAT” series of screen­ings and pre­sen­ta­tions by inde­pen­dent film and video mak­ers from around the world. For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.redcat.org/category/redcat-event-type/film-video.

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MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.

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