Tag Archives: Film Festival

Waterloo Festival Announces Animated Feature Films

Waterloo Festival

Water­loo Festival

Ontario’s Water­loo Fes­ti­val for Ani­mated Cin­ema has announced the first 12 films of the 12th edi­tion of the fes­ti­val, which runs from Novem­ber 15 to 18.

The lineup show­cases the increas­ingly pow­er­ful voice that fea­ture ani­ma­tion has in world cin­ema today. A unique film fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing the artistry of ani­mated fea­ture films, the Water­loo Fes­ti­val show­case is one of the most com­pre­hen­sive pub­lic exhi­bi­tions for ani­mated fea­ture films in the world.

This year’s fes­ti­val reflects a strong set of pro­duc­tions from Japan and Europe,” says Joseph Chen, the festival’s cura­tor. “There is an incred­i­bly rich, diverse world of ani­mated cin­ema beyond the bor­ders of what we can see in mul­ti­plexes today. Fea­ture ani­ma­tion is an unpar­al­leled win­dow into the filmmaker’s inner vision. It’s an absolute treat to be able to show these beau­ti­fully crafted films on the big screen to a North Amer­i­can audience.”

A Let­ter to Momo
Okiura Hiroyuki (Japan, 2011)
Stu­dio: Pro­duc­tion I.G.
Future Film Plat­inum Grand Prize, Future Film Fes­ti­val, Italy, 2012
Miyaura Momo is a shy and imag­i­na­tive 13-year old girl whose life has been shat­tered by her father’s recent death and her family’s deci­sion to move from Tokyo back to her mother’s ances­tral home in a dis­tant fish­ing vil­lage. Haunted by her last moments with her father, and the final words he left her in an unfin­ished let­ter that sim­ply said, “Dear Momo…,” she retreats into a gloomy shell from which she refused to emerge, until one day three rather rude gob­lins with a
pen­chant for mis­chief take it upon them­selves to pull her out of her shell.

Anime Mirai
(Japan, 2012)
Films: Juju the Weight­less Dugong (dir. Kawa­mata Hiroshi, The Answer­stu­dio), Pre­tend­ing Not To See (dir. Miyashi-ta Shin­pei, Shi­rogumi), Li’l Spi­der Girl (dir. Kaiya Toshi­hisa, Pro­duc­tion I.G.), Buta (dir. Tomon­aga Kazuhide, Tele­com Ani­ma­tion Film)
Four delight­ful films that point to the future of anime: a col­lec­tive project from four lead­ing Japan­ese ani­ma­tion stu­dios selected by the Japan Ani­ma­tion Cre­ators Asso­ci­a­tion under the patron­age of the Agency for Cul­tural Affairs. A worka­holic father repeat­edly breaks his promise to take his 5-year-old daugh­ter to the sea until an inflat­able dugong under­takes the task instead; a sixth grade learns that bul­ly­ing other kids is as bad as let­ting it hap­pen; an anti­quar­ian meets with a scared, eight-legged spi­der girl; and a broke swordsman-for-hire accepts a job to pay the tavern’s bill, only to find him­self involved with a pirate ship, a young kid with a map, and a mad scientist.

Arru­gas (Wrin­kles)
Igna­cio Fer­reras (Spain, 2011)
Stu­dio: Perro Verde Films
Goya Award, Best Adapted Screen­play, 2012; Goya Award, Best Ani­mated Film, 2012
Based on Paco Roca’s epony­mous and multi award-winning graphic novel, Wrin­kles por­trays the friend­ship between Emilio and Miguel, two aged gen­tle­men shut
away in a care home. Recent arrival Emilio, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, is helped by Miguel and col­leagues to avoid end­ing up on the feared top floor of the care home, also known as the lost causes or “assisted” floor. Their wild plan infuses their oth­er­wise tedious day-to-day with humor and ten­der­ness, because although for some their lives is com­ing to an end, for them it is just beginning.

Sato Kei­ichi (Japan, 2012)
Stu­dio: Toei Ani­ma­tion
Born into the chaos of mid-15th cen­tury Japan, when flood, drought and famine have dev­as­tated the land and the great­est civil war in Japan­ese his­tory was about to begin, an infant named Asura was aban­doned and forced to learn the means to sur­vive in the wild on his own. Grow­ing up as a wild beast, he would come to hunt men — until one day, he meets a young woman whose grace begins to con­vince him that even a lost soul such as he could seek redemption.

Az Ember Tragédiája (The Tragedy Of Man)
Mar­cell Jankovics (Hun­gary, 2012)
Stu­dio: MAFILM Pan­nó­nia Film­stúdió
Based on the 1861 mas­ter­piece by Hun­gar­ian play­wright and poet Imre Madách, The Tragedy of Man is a pow­er­ful drama in 15 acts that guide us through the his­tory and the future of mankind — from the story of Adam and Eve in the Gar­den, to the empires of old, to the rev­o­lu­tions that rocked Europe — as Lucifer and God bat­tle for Man’s soul.

Paul Bush (United King­dom, 2012)
Stu­dio: Paul Bush Pro­duc­tions
Babel­dom is a city so mas­sive and grow­ing at such a speed that soon, it is said, light itself will not escape its grav­i­ta­tional pull. How can two lovers com­mu­ni­cate, one from inside the city and one out­side? This is an elegy to urban life, against the back­drop of a city of the future, a por­trait assem­bled from film shot in mod­ern cities all around the world and col­lected from the most recent research in sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and architecture.

Blood-C: The Last Dark
Shiotani Naoyoshi (Japan, 2012)
Stu­dio: Pro­duc­tion I.G.
Fol­low­ing the enforce­ment of the new Youth Pro­tec­tion Act, minors are for­bid­den to cir­cu­late in the streets after 9 p.m. and the use of the Inter­net is reg­u­lated. How­ever, young peo­ple con­tinue to fight for their own free­dom through under­ground meth­ods. A group called Sir­rut has declared war on Fumito Nana­hara, a man whose great influ­ence at both polit­i­cal and eco­nomic level has vir­tu­ally made him the ruler of Tokyo.

Heart String Mar­i­onette
M Dot Strange (U.S.A./Iceland, 2012)
Stu­dio: M Dot Strange Pro­duc­tions
A solo-animated film five years in the mak­ing. A samu­rai mar­i­onette fights for love and hate against a war­lord and an evil clown who have turned the world into a never-ending cyber­punk night­mare filled with hor­ri­ble monsters.

Jensen & Jensen
Craig Frank (Den­mark, 2011)
Stu­dios: Miso Film, Orbit Stu­dio ApS, Frank Pro­duc­tions
It is the year 2019. The finan­cial cri­sis rages on, and the world has crum­bled. Unem­ploy­ment, infla­tion and crime are all soar­ing. In Copen­hagen, bik­ers have taken over the tasks of the police, every­body is in debt to their eye­balls, and the coun­try is now run by a bank. What are a cou­ple of broth­ers to do except to try their hand at bounty-hunting?

Marco Macaco
Jan Rah­bek (Den­mark, 2012)
Direc­tor Jan Rah­bek
Stu­dio: Nice Ninja
In his dreams, Marco Macaco is a cool cop solv­ing major crimes — in fact, he is just a ded­i­cated beach offi­cer on a trop­i­cal island where noth­ing seems to hap­pen. His hopes to win beau­ti­ful Lulu’s heart get shat­tered when charm­ing Carlo arrives on the island to build a gigan­tic monkey-shaped casino right on Marco‘s beach. Jeal­ous and sus­pi­cious of his rival, Marco starts an under­cover inves­ti­ga­tion and reveals the incred­i­ble truth: Carlo wants to take over the island and install him­self as pres­i­dent! When Marco tries to arrest Carlo, a prob­lem rises. Lit­er­ally, from the ground. Because Carlo’s Casino is a giant robot…

Strange Frame
G.B. Hajim (U.S.A., 2012)
Stu­dio: G.B. Hajim
It is 200 years after the Great Earth Exo­dus. On the moon Ganymede, where most of the pop­u­la­tion strug­gles against oppres­sive debt slav­ery, Parker leaves the com­forts of her pre­vi­ous life and falls in love with Naia, an inspired song­writer, who is genet­i­cally engi­neered and enslaved to be a miner. They form a band, and soon, Naia is enslaved again, this time to star­dom, via an exploita­tive tal­ent agent. Though down and out, Parker sets out on a quest to free Naia and
redeem their love.

Ôkami Kodomo No Ame to Yuki (Wolf Chil­dren)
Hosoda Mamoru (Japan, 2012)
Stu­dio: Mad­house
A young col­lege stu­dent named Hana falls in love with a man with an unspeak­able secret: he is a wolf man, and one of the last of his kind. Their love gives birth to two chil­dren — Yuki (snow), born on a day of snow; and Ame (rain), born on a day of rain; they, too, were born both human and wolf.

All screen­ings at the 12th Water­loo Fes­ti­val for Ani­mated Cin­ema runs Novem­ber 15 to 18, 2012. will be held at The Chrysalids The­atre, 137 Ontario Street North in Kitch­ener, Ontario. The the­atre is con­ve­niently located near rail and bus ser­vices, and there is plenty of park­ing nearby.

Fes­ti­val passes are avail­able online at www.wfac.ca, and by phone to Brown Paper Tick­ets at +1 (800) 838‑3006.

The Water­loo Fes­ti­val for Ani­mated Cin­ema is an inter­na­tional film fes­ti­val for ani­mated fea­ture films, founded to pro­mote appre­ci­a­tion for ani­ma­tion as a nar­ra­tive medium for mature cin­e­matic sto­ry­telling, and to review and cel­e­brate ani­mated fea­ture films in the venue they were meant to be seen in: a the­atre. The fes­ti­val is community-based, non-profit, and run by vol­un­teers for the love of the art of animation.

Peach Juice Bears Fruit at Vancouver Film Fest

Peach Juice

Peach Juice

The ani­mated “Peach Juice,” directed by Brian Lye, Cal­lum Pater­son and Nathan Gilliss of British Colum­bia, earned Hon­ourable Men­tion for a Cana­dian Short Film at the 31st annual Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, which con­cluded its 16-day run Friday.

In Peach Juice, while on vaca­tion at the sea­side, a teenage boy becomes attracted to his aunt.… This film is a lit­tle dark, uncom­fort­ably funny, and a whole lotta twisted!

Funny, with a great sense of humor. A dif­fer­ent kind of take on ani­ma­tion showed much promise,” said jurors.

We look for­ward to see­ing more. It was a bit­ter­sweet story.”

Lye, Pater­son and Nathan Gilliss were pro­duc­ers of the eight-minute film, made by Pub­lic Rit­ual Media. Lye was respon­si­ble for the screen­play, while Pater­son and Gilliss were ani­ma­tors. Music was by Ben­jamin Schuetze.

A trailer for the film can be viewed here:

NFB Animations at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

Fes­ti­val du Nou­veau Cinéma

Sev­eral ani­mated pro­duc­tions and co-productions of the National Film Board of Canada will be screen­ing at the 41st edi­tion of the Fes­ti­val du Nou­veau Cinéma, to be held in Mon­treal from Octo­ber 10 to 21.

A recently pre­miered short ani­mated film from the NFB is in offi­cial com­pe­ti­tion: Edmond Was a Don­key (Papy3D Productions/ARTE France/NFB), directed by Franck Dion. The film is screen­ing in Que­bec for the first time, as are the remark­able Kali the Lit­tle Vam­pire (Folim­age Studios/Ciclope Filmes/NFB/Studio GDS), directed by Regina Pes­soa, and L’automne de Pougne (Folim­age Stu­dio – Foliascope/Piwi+/Carpe Diem Film & TV/NFB), directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon and Antoine Lanciaux.

The full slate once again high­lights the NFB’s exper­tise in animation.

Twenty-seven films — includ­ing two from the NFB — are in the run­ning for the Loup Argenté award, given to the best short film in inter­na­tional selec­tion at the festival.

Over the past few months, Edmond Was a Don­keythe third ani­mated film by French film­maker Franck Dion — has taken home the spe­cial jury prize at the Annecy inter­na­tional ani­ma­tion fes­ti­val and the Bravo!FACT prize for best Cana­dian short at the World­wide Short Film Fes­ti­val in Toronto. Dion brings us the touch­ing story of an out­sider who does not reveal his true self until the day his co-workers place a set of don­key ears on his head. Edmond then dis­cov­ers the chal­lenges of being true to one’s self in a world of social con­formists. The film is co-produced by Papy3D Pro­duc­tions and the NFB. The fes­ti­val screen­ing is its Que­bec premiere.

Kali the Lit­tle Vam­pire is a must-see in the festival’s P’tits loups (Young Wolves) sec­tion of pro­gram­ming for chil­dren. A co-production between France, Por­tu­gal, Switzer­land and Canada, this ani­mated film has already won four inter­na­tional awards, includ­ing the pres­ti­gious Hiroshima prize. Directed by Por­tuguese film­maker Regina Pes­soa, this poetic fable reminds us that there can be accep­tance for all — even young Kali, who is hav­ing a hard-time com­ing to terms with being a vam­pire. This film is the third and final instal­ment in Pessoa’s tril­ogy on the dis­com­forts of child­hood. It is mas­ter­fully nar­rated by Oscar-winning actor Christo­pher Plummer.

L’automne de Pougne (Pop­pety In The Fall), directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon and Antoine Lan­ci­aux, fea­tures the return of the award-winning grumpy hedge­hog and his other pup­pet friends from the land of King Balthasar for one last adven­ture, in which they search for a hid­den trea­sure that turns out to con­sist of love, for­give­ness and family.

The NFB — like the FNC — is enthu­si­as­tic about explor­ing new tech­nolo­gies and the broad­cast and dis­tri­b­u­tion plat­forms of tomor­row. There are three inter­ac­tive NFB projects at the fes­ti­val, each bring­ing together the art of ani­ma­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy, and sound: Sol­dier Brother by Kaitlin Ann Jones, Bear 71 by Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Alli­son, and 24 poses fémin­istes by Car­o­line Hayeur. These projects will be avail­able on the FNC’s Web site and can be seen on touch-screens installed in sev­eral loca­tions at the festival.

Win Tix for “Persistence of Vision” World Premiere

Persistence Of Vision

Per­sis­tence Of Vision

Want to go to the world pre­miere of “Per­sis­tence of Vision” for free?

The doc­u­men­tary fol­lows the 30-year quest of ani­ma­tor Richard Williams to make his mas­ter­piece, The Thief and the Cob­bler — per­haps the great­est ani­mated film never made.

Spon­sor The Snipe, Vancouver’s news source for movies, music, comics and more, has two pairs of tick­ets to give away to the world pre­miere Thurs­day, Octo­ber 4 at this year’s Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Festival.

Best known for the ani­mated sequences of Who Framed Roger Rab­bit, Canadian-born British ani­ma­tor Williams saw the film wrested from his con­trol and sav­agely recut.

Kevin Schreck’s doc­u­men­tary pairs unre­leased scenes from Williams’ vir­tu­oso fairy­tale with hor­ror sto­ries of cre­ativ­ity falling prey to commerce.

To enter to win one of two pairs of tick­ets to the Octo­ber 4 pre­miere at 6 p.m. at Granville Cin­e­mas, let the online mag­a­zine know your favorite ani­mated fea­ture or car­toon of all time at www.thesnipenews.com/the-latest/persistence-of-vision-movie-viff/. The draw will be made at 9 a.m. PST on Wednes­day, Octo­ber 3.

Per­sis­tence of Vision is part of the 2012 Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Festival.

Who’s In At London Animation Festival

London International Animation Festival

Lon­don Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Festival

The largest ani­mated film fes­ti­val in the United King­dom– the Lon­don Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val– has announced this years pro­gram. Included are over 280 films from thirty coun­tries com­pet­ing in 10 cat­e­gories. Show­cas­ing the best in British and inter­na­tional ani­ma­tion, this years fes­ti­val also includes sev­eral impor­tant pre­mieres, in addi­tion to attendee events and symposiums.

This year’s Lon­don Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val– or LIAF– is run­ning Octo­ber 25th — Novem­ber 4th. This year the ten day fes­ti­val will open with style, pre­mier­ing ‘For No Good Rea­son’, the brand new fea­ture film explor­ing the con­nec­tion between life and art through the eyes of sem­i­nal British artist, Ralph Stead­man. Fol­low the screen­ing with an onstage dis­cus­sion with the sem­i­nal British artist him­self – Ralph Stead­man, as well as ‘For No Good Rea­son’ Direc­tor Char­lie Paul and Ani­ma­tion Direc­tor Kevin Richards.

On Octo­ber 28th, Czech Repub­lic direc­tor Tomáš Lunák will intro­duce a  screen­ing of his film Alois Nebel. After­ward, he will take part in a Q and A about the film.

Also on tap are a ret­ro­spec­tive of Lithuan­ian Ani­ma­tion and a look at the emerg­ing Japan­ese ani­ma­tion scene, includ­ing a mas­ter­class and screen­ing with short-form auteur ani­ma­tor Koji Yama­mura. Amer­i­can stu­dio Klasky Csupo presents a series of never-before-seen pilot films from some of their tele­vi­sions series.

The fes­ti­val will also be home to a vari­ety of ScreenTalks and Cre­ative Skillset sym­po­siums and spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tions includ­ing a 2-day indus­try event in which top­ics such as The Future of Ani­ma­tion in the UK and The Art of Ani­mated Film Titles will be explored. Tech­nique Focus Work­shops include an in-depth look at Live Action / Ani­ma­tion Hybrid films. There are also sev­eral pro­grams and hands on work­shops espe­cially for chil­dren includ­ing the Make a Spooky Film Work­shop in which BAFTA award-winning Kevin Grif­fiths will guide audi­ences through the var­i­ous stages of ‘cut-out’ ani­ma­tion and the art of adding spooky soundtracks.

Another favorite pro­gram at the LIAF is Fri­day Night Bizarre. On Novem­ber 2 at 9 PM, this ever pop­u­lar, irre­sistible, train-wreck of a pro­gram com­mences — you wanna’ turn away but you know you can’t. Expect meat in all the wrong places, drunk babies, slimy politi­cians, Siamese twins, deranged zom­bies and Yoko Ono!

The fes­ti­val will wrap up with The Best of the Next on Sat­ur­day night, lead­ing into the Best of the Fes­ti­val event on the fol­low­ing Sun­day, show­cas­ing a col­lec­tion of the great­est films from LIAF cho­sen by judg­ing pan­els and audi­ence votes.

Full pro­gram sched­ules and addi­tional infor­ma­tion about the LIAF is avail­able online at www.liaf.org.uk

Persistence of Vision World Premiere in Vancouver


Persistence Of Vision

Per­sis­tence Of Vision

Per­sis­tence of Vision, a doc­u­men­tary film about acclaimed Cana­dian ani­ma­tor Richard Williams, will pre­miere to the world at this years Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. The  83 minute film will show Thurs­day, Octo­ber 4th, 6:00 PM @ the Empire Granville 7 Cin­e­mas The­atre #4. The show­ing will be fol­lowed by a Q&A with director/producer Kevin Schreck plus a spe­cial guest animator.

First con­ceived in Sep­tem­ber 2007, Per­sis­tence of Vision began in devel­op­ment as director/producer Kevin Schreck’s senior project at Bard Col­lege in August 2009. Film­ing began in earnest a year later in August 2010, with edit­ing fin­ished about march of 2012.

To pay for such a com­plex and in-depth film, Schreck “crowd-sourced” his fund­ing through cre­ative project fund­ing web­site Kick­starter. After post­ing his project on the site, the gen­eral pub­lic pledged over eight thou­sand dol­lars toward the com­ple­tion of the film– some even earn­ing pro­ducer cred­its in the film for their larger contributions.

Persistence Of Vision

Per­sis­tence Of Vision

Per­sis­tence of Visionis a doc­u­men­tary look at Richard Williams and his thirty year attempt to make the ani­mated film The Thief And The Cob­bler. It was to be the great­est ani­mated film of all time. Not just an eye-opener, but a game-changer. Richard Williams demanded noth­ing less, invest­ing nearly three decades into his movie masterpiece.

Still best known today for the ani­mated por­tions of Who Framed Roger Rab­bit, the Cana­dian producer-director came to the UK in the 1950s and won acco­lades for his short films. He formed a pro­duc­tion com­pany and reaped the boom in ani­mated com­mer­cials and movie credit sequences. But from as early as 1964 he ploughed most of the prof­its right back into his pet project, a fea­ture inspired by the Ara­bian Nights and pro­vi­sion­ally known as Mul­lah Nas­rud­din.

He assem­bled a team of inspired young artists—and brought in the best Hol­ly­wood crafts­men to teach them—and devised what would be the most elab­o­rate, kalei­do­scopic, mind-boggling visual sequences ever com­mit­ted to cel­lu­loid. Years passed. Poten­tial financiers came and went. Work con­tin­ued. But it was only after Roger Rab­bit that Williams had a stu­dio bud­get to cor­rob­o­rate the munif­i­cence of his imag­i­na­tion. After 25 years and as many mil­lion dol­lars in the mak­ing his labor of love finally saw the light of day…

Kevin Schreck’s doc­u­men­tary is essen­tial view­ing on three counts: it show­cases Williams’ daz­zling, often unprece­dented visu­als; it reveals how these stag­ger­ing effects were cre­ated; and it’s a heart­break­ing por­trait of artis­tic obses­sion run­ning smack into the busi­ness of show…

The Last Belle wins top animation award in R.I.

Rhode Island International Film Festival

Rhode Island Inter­na­tional Film Festival

The Last Belle,” by Neil Boyle of the United King­dom, won the Grand award in Ani­ma­tion at FLICKERS: Rhode Island Inter­na­tional Film Festival.

In the 20-minute 2011 film, two char­ac­ters jour­ney towards a blind date: Wally, who suf­fers a night­mar­ish drunken trip through Lon­don as he races against the clock to the ren­dezvous; and Rosie, who waits in a bar dream­ing of how won­der­ful her date is going to be…if he ever turns up. The film had its New Eng­land pre­miere at the fest.

RIIFF announced the award win­ners Sun­day from its 16th annual awards cer­e­mony held at The Vets in down­town Providence.

Held from August 7 to 12, the fes­ti­val had another record-breaking year in atten­dance for ticket buy­ers and filmmakers.

Two films tied for First in the Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory: Nuru (dir. Micheal Pal­maers; Bel­gium, 2011) and Zing (dir. Kyra Buschor; Ger­many, 2012).

The 14-minute Nuru is set in an aban­doned zoo. The zoo itself is inspired by the Antwerp Zoo in the 19th cen­tury and is cov­ered in a mys­te­ri­ous envi­ron­ment remind­ing of the Rene Magritte paint­ing The Empire of Light. Under a radi­at­ing sunny sky, the land­scape is cov­ered in dark­ness. The oppor­tunis­tic direc­tor of the aban­doned zoo instructs a doc­tor to do some med­ical exper­i­ments on a gorilla, one of the few ani­mals left in the zoo. If the exper­i­ment turns out well, the zoo could again become the great attrac­tion it once was.

In Zing, day in, day out, Mr. Grimm is busy with his job as the Reaper, har­vest­ing people’s lives. One day, his monot­o­nous exis­tence is inter­rupted by the door­bell. It’s a lit­tle girl. She wants her cat back. Lit­tle does she know that she’s the next life on Mr. Grimm’s list.

Frac­tion (dir. Alain Delan­noy; Canada, 2012) won the Grand award in the Best Exper­i­men­tal cat­e­gory. With­out spo­ken lan­guage, this nine-minute ani­mated film fol­lows the story of an elderly artist who, caught in a bat­tle of time, strug­gles to com­plete his body of work. Thou­sands of hand­crafted draw­ings were cre­ated to com­pose and ulti­mately com­plete this inde­pen­dent short film, which was pro­duced over a span of four years.

The RIIFF Youth Jury Award for Best Ani­mated went to Ris­ing Hope (dir. Milen Vitanov; Ger­many, 2012). All know the way, but few actu­ally walk it — Ris­ing Hope, once the fastest horse in the world, dares to be one of the few.

Two hun­dred fea­ture length, doc­u­men­tary and short films — from 51 coun­tries, and 32 states in the United States — were screened over a six-day period at loca­tions through­out Rhode Island. Films were selected from a record entry base of 4,717 sub­mis­sions. The fes­ti­val pre­sented 28 world pre­mieres and 26 North American/United States premieres.

It’s sim­ply been an incred­i­ble year for us,” said George T. Mar­shall, RIIFF’s exec­u­tive direc­tor. “Thanks to the amaz­ing part­ner­ship we forged with Steven Fein­berg and the Rhode Island Film & Tele­vi­sion Office and spon­sor­ships with the Prov­i­dence Jour­nal, Cox Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and the City of Prov­i­dence, film­mak­ers from across the globe were able to expe­ri­ence true Rhode Island hos­pi­tal­ity. We had a spec­tac­u­lar lineup of provoca­tive and engag­ing new films and a ban­ner year for the Flick­ers’ Forums.

This year, the fes­ti­val reg­is­tered more than 150 film­mak­ers from across the globe, includ­ing Green­land, Italy, Canada, France, Bel­gium, Den­mark and Nor­way. All in all, we achieved every­thing we set out to accom­plish with this year’s fes­ti­val and more.”

RIIFF is one of only 75 film fes­ti­vals world­wide that is accred­ited by the Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences. William Joyce’s The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more pre­miered at RIIFF in 2011, and went on to win an Acad­emy Award for best ani­mated short.

China’s “Monkey King” in 3D at Vancouver festival

Vancouver International Film Festival

Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Festival

At this year’s Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, China’s The Mon­key King gets an eye-popping 3D restora­tion on its 50th anniver­sary; A Liar’s Auto­bi­og­ra­phy (also in 3D) cel­e­brates Gra­ham Chapman’s inim­itable work with Monty Python; and Per­sis­tence of Vision tells the story of what could have been the great­est ani­mated fea­ture of all time, The Thief and the Cob­bler.

There’s plenty for the kids, but there’s also a tremen­dous seri­ous­ness of pur­pose and heart­felt artistry to the selec­tion of ani­mated fea­tures and shorts in this year’s fes­ti­val, tak­ing place from Sep­tem­ber 27 to Octo­ber 12.

Comic book super­heroes may rule the mul­ti­plex, but in the wide world of cin­ema, more rar­efied and grown-up tastes are being well served! More and more, the use of ani­ma­tion sequences and devices enhance “photo-based” movies, and while graphic nov­els break new artis­tic ground, along comes Car­toon Col­lege to intro­duce us to the great ani­ma­tors of the printed page.

Among the car­toon selec­tions at the Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Festival:

The Mon­key King — Uproar in Heaven 3D (Da nao tian gong)
China; dirs. Su Da and Chen Zhi­hong
A grand spec­ta­cle, Su Da and Chen Zhihong’s 50th anniver­sary 3D restora­tion of China’s most lauded ani­mated fea­ture is truly a spe­cial event. Based on the the Ming Dynasty clas­sic Jour­ney to the West, it chron­i­cles the adven­tures of the mag­i­cal Mon­key King, a mis­chie­vous char­ac­ter who cre­ates havoc in the palace of Heaven by refus­ing to kow­tow to the Celes­tial Jade Emperor.… Bring the kids! Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: TBA.

A Liar’s Auto­bi­og­ra­phy: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Gra­ham Chap­man
United King­dom; dirs. Bill Jones, Jeff Simp­son and Ben Tim­lett
Ready for some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent? In the spirit of Gra­ham Chapman’s five-author, highly fic­tion­al­ized auto­bi­og­ra­phy, this car­ni­va­lesque 3D adaptation/animation enlists three direc­tors (Bill Jones, Ben Tim­lett and Jeff Simp­son), 15 ani­ma­tion stu­dios (each using dif­fer­ent tech­niques) and the remain­ing Monty Python mem­bers (minus Eric Idle) to pay irrev­er­ent trib­ute to “the dead one.”

Ernest et Céles­tine
France/Belgium/Luxembourg; dirs. Ben­jamin Ren­ner, Vin­cent Patar and Stéphane Aubier
Like-minded Ernest, a busk­ing bear, and Céles­tine, a boho mouse, forge an inter­species friend­ship and instantly become a cause célèbre. Team­ing with Ben­jamin Ren­ner, A Town Called Panic’s Vin­cent Patar and Stéphane Aubier curb their anar­chic ten­den­cies and del­i­cately craft “a cau­tion­ary fable where friend­ship tries to stand the test of big­otry and intol­er­ance.” — Hol­ly­wood Reporter. To be clas­si­fied so all ages can attend!

McDull: The Pork of Music
North Amer­i­can Pre­miere
Hong Kong; dir. Brian Tse
Hong Kong’s fun­ni­est and most sub­ver­sively pop­u­lar avatar, the car­toon piglet McDull, is back in an ani­mated musi­cal by Brian Tse and Alice Mak. Mix­ing hilar­i­ous, weird and deli­ciously pro­fane humor with ultra-sharp social cri­tique, McDull & Com­pany sing about HK’s unique­ness with a poignant charm all their own.

Con­sum­ing Spir­its
U.S.A.; dir. Chris Sul­li­van
In this spi­ral­ing ani­mated tale, the darkly humor­ous, seem­ingly ran­dom mis­ad­ven­tures of three Rust Belt grotesques coa­lesce into a sin­gle affect­ing nar­ra­tive. “Shot frame-by-frame using mod­els, multi-plane paper cutouts and tra­di­tional pencil-drawn car­toons… this labor of love from do-it-all ani­ma­tor Chris Sul­li­van has the same rough-edged, can­tan­ker­ous charms as the char­ac­ters that pop­u­late it.” — Vari­ety

Car­toon Col­lege
World Pre­miere
U.S.A.; dirs. Josh Mel­rod and Tara Wray
This bit­ter­sweetly charm­ing doc­u­men­tary intro­duces us to some of the world’s great­est graphic nov­el­ists, and the extra­or­di­nary col­lege in White River Junc­tion, Ver­mont, where the comic artists of tomor­row get inspired and get to work! Chris Ware, Lynda Barry, Art Spiegel­man, Françoise Mouly and Scott McCloud are among the many artists to take us into their imag­i­na­tive inner lives and craft. The fab­u­lous sound­track includes an orig­i­nal score by Jason Zumpano.

Per­sis­tence of Vision
World Pre­miere
U.S.A./United Kingdom/Canada; dir. Kevin Schreck
Stu­pen­dous! After toil­ing on his mas­ter­piece The Thief and the Cob­bler for 28 years, top British ani­ma­tor Richard Williams — famous for Who Framed Roger Rab­bit — saw it wrested from his con­trol and sav­agely recut. Pair­ing unre­leased scenes from Williams’ vir­tu­oso fairy tale with hor­ror sto­ries of cre­ativ­ity falling prey to com­merce, Kevin Schreck takes us inside “the great­est ani­mated film never made.”

Wrin­kles (Arru­gas)
Spain; dir Igna­cio Fer­reras
By turns mov­ing and funny, Igna­cio Fer­reras’ ani­mated tale of two elderly men who become friends at a care facil­ity for the aged “has heart and humor.… Wrin­kles ranks as an extra­or­di­nar­ily involv­ing and poignant film… likely to inspire laugh­ter and deep sym­pa­thy for the char­ac­ters, if not tears, in equal mea­sure.” — SBS Film.
Win­ner, Goya Awards, Best Ani­mated Film, Best Adapted Screen­play, 2012.

Sneak pre­view guides of the Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val hit the street Sep­tem­ber 1, while the VIFF Advance Box Office opens Sep­tem­ber 10. The Offi­cial Pro­gram Cat­a­logue is on sale Sep­tem­ber 15.

Watch for the fab­u­lous Hayao Miyazaki series com­ing to the PCP and Vancity The­atre in late fall!

Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val film info is avail­able at (604) 683-FILM (3456). The VIFF office is at (604) 685‑0260.

Animation on view during “Short Cuts” in Toronto

Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Festival

The Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val is set to present 44 world-class Cana­dian short films, includ­ing four with ani­ma­tion, in this year’s Short Cuts Canada program.

With a lineup as diverse in themes and cul­tures as the coun­try itself, six engag­ing pro­grams will rep­re­sent the styles of both accom­plished and emerg­ing direc­tors from across Canada. From strong social state­ments to dead­pan humor, Short Cuts Canada pro­gram­mers Alex Rogal­ski and Mag­ali Simard received nearly 700 entries — the most sub­mis­sions to date for the pro­gram — indi­cat­ing steady growth in film tal­ent in Canada.

Pro­gram­ming Short Cuts Canada is more and more chal­leng­ing each year because of the level to which Cana­dian film­mak­ers are ele­vat­ing the qual­ity of short films,” said Simard. “It is a very excit­ing time for us as pro­gram­mers, and the future never looked brighter for Cana­dian shorts.”

Films in this year’s pro­gram have global reach and will appeal to audi­ences world­wide,” said Rogal­ski. “This year’s films are short in length, but long on impression.”

Films in the Short Cuts Canada pro­gram are eli­gi­ble for the Award for Best Cana­dian Short Film. This year’s jury includes jour­nal­ist and author Matthew Hays, jour­nal­ist Kat­rina Onstad and film­maker Regi­nald Harkema.

Among the films being screened:

Aubade (L’Aubade)
Carla Susanto, Ontario
2 min.
World Pre­miere
Engrav­ings from century-old med­ical text­books become an ani­mated back­drop to a man’s lov­ing good­bye dur­ing his final moments. The fleet­ing flicker of the mono­chro­matic images res­onates with the narrator’s quick­en­ing jour­ney as he tran­si­tions from one world to another.

Patrick Bouchard, Que­bec
9 min.
Toronto Pre­miere
Inspired by Russ­ian com­poser Mod­est Mussorgsky’s “Pic­tures at an Exhi­bi­tion,” Bydlo is a stag­ger­ing visual ren­der­ing of the lum­ber­ing wooden Pol­ish ox-cart pic­ture. Tech­ni­cally com­plex (Bouchard ani­mates plas­te­line) and artis­ti­cally fiery, Bydlo depicts the cycles of life, the power of man and beast, and both the beauty and hor­ror of labor.

Joda (Apart)
Theodore Ushev, Que­bec
4 min.
World Pre­miere
Poetic and polit­i­cal, Theodore Ushev’s lat­est ani­mated work cul­ti­vates his incred­i­ble tal­ent to call for the lib­er­a­tion of impris­oned Iran­ian film­mak­ers and to focus atten­tion on the plight of Jafar Panahi. Draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from raw footage of the Green Wave upris­ing to com­pose densely lay­ered roto­scoped images embed­ded with Farsi text, the result is a pow­er­ful piece of activism that is both per­sonal and profound.

Let the Day­light into the Swamp
Jef­frey St. Jules, Ontario
35 min.
World Pre­miere
The St. Judes ori­gins in the lum­ber camps of north­ern Ontario lead to a splin­tered fam­ily and a spot­ted his­tory filled with ques­tions and half answers. With a mix of ani­ma­tion, re-enactments and archival evi­dence, Jef­frey St. Jules assem­bles a three-part 3-D doc­u­men­tary col­lage that explores the con­se­quences of par­ents who make the dif­fi­cult deci­sion to give up their children.

The Fes­ti­val offers the TIFF Choice five-screening Cana­dian Pack, includ­ing fea­tures and shorts ($80 for adult, $68 stu­dent and senior). Pur­chase Fes­ti­val ticket pack­ages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET week­days at (416) 599-TIFF or 1–888-599‑8433, or visit the box office in per­son from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The 37th Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val runs from Sep­tem­ber 6 to 16.

Rhode Island Film Fest shows off animated short

Rhode Island Film Festival

Rhode Island Film Festival

The Rhode Island Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val hosts an unfor­get­table show­case from across the globe in “Where Dreams Are Born,” a two-hour col­lec­tion of ani­mated shorts from Britain, Spain, Aus­tralia, Ger­many and the United States.

Nine ani­mated films will be seen this Sat­ur­day, August 11 at The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts in Prov­i­dence. Show­time is 2:15 p.m.

Here’s what will be screened:

The Hunter (6 min.; dir. Marieka Walsh; Aus­tralia, 2012)
New Eng­land Pre­miere
A boy goes miss­ing in the snow cov­ered wilder­ness, feared taken by wolves. A hunter under­takes a jour­ney to find the boy; dead or alive. As the hunter tracks the boy into the moun­tains, he dis­cov­ers that his instincts can no longer be trusted. Here, far from civ­i­liza­tion he must make deci­sions that will for­ever change his rela­tion­ship with the wilder­ness he has always feared. The Hunter is a haunt­ing stop-motion sand ani­ma­tion by emerg­ing direc­tor Marieka Walsh.

The Boy In The Bub­ble (8 min.; dir. Kealan O’Rourke; Ire­land, 2012)
Rupert, a 10-year-old boy, falls hope­lessly in love for the first time. When it all goes ter­ri­bly wrong, he wishes never to expe­ri­ence heartache again. Turn­ing to a book of magic, he invokes a spell to shield him from emo­tion forever.

A Tooth Tale (6 min.; dir. Ron Fleis­cher; U.S.A., 2012)
World Pre­miere
This tra­di­tion­ally ani­mated short tells the story of Tommy Mal­loy, a 6-year old boy who loses his first tooth. When he learns that the Tooth Fairy will give him money for it, he hatches a plot to trap and shake her down for all her loot. The rhyming dia­logue and art direc­tion pay homage to the car­toons of the 1950s and 1960s.

Cadaver (7 min.; dir. Jonah D. Ansell; U.S.A., 2012)
The whim­si­cal story of a shy, first-year med stu­dent (Tavi Gevin­son) whose scalpel cut sparks a cadaver (Christo­pher Lloyd) back to life. When he begs her to take him on a jour­ney to say a last good­bye to his wife, they sneak out of the lab and embark on a road trip, only to dis­cover a truth in death tha tthe cadaver didn’t know in life.

The Man With The Stolen Heart (7 min.; dir. Char­lotte Boulay-Goldsmith; United King­dom, 2011)
A sur­real tale about a man who wakes up one day, only to dis­cover that his heart has left. This forces him on a jour­ney of self-discovery as he tries to find his heart.

The Mon­ster of Nix (30 min.; dir. Rosto; Belgium/France/Netherlands, 2011)
Life is good in the idyl­lic fairy­tale vil­lage of Nix… until an all-devouring mon­ster appears. Young Willy has to fight it. Alone.

Jamón (Ham) (8 min.; dir. Iria Lopez; United King­dom, 2012)
North Amer­i­can Pre­miere
Jose is a teenage pig liv­ing in a Span­ish town, and he is the only pig in his fam­ily. One day a new neigh­bor moves in next door, and Jose starts to come to terms with who he really is.

Ris­ing Hope (10 min.; dir. Milen Vitanov; Ger­many, 2012)
New Eng­land Pre­miere
All know the way, but few actu­ally walk it. Ris­ing Hope, once the fastest horse in the world, dares to be one of the few.

SNAP (6 min.; dir. Thomas G. Mur­phy; Belgium/United King­dom, 2012)
East Coast Pre­miere
The Water Hag­gis live an idyl­lic life in their beau­ti­ful under­wa­ter cav­ern. Sadly, for a young Hag­gis called Snap, life isn’t so idyl­lic. But when he meets a cool frog called Fred­die, Snap makes an unlikely new friend. Together they show that some­times you to have to think dif­fer­ently to solve a prob­lem and to beat the bul­lies… smarts are always gonna be bet­ter than brawn.

The Rhode Island Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val takes place from Tues­day, August 7 to Sun­day, August 12. For ticket infor­ma­tion, visit www.film-festival.org/ticketspasses.php.