Structuring Strategies: Acme Filmworks & AWN.com present 'The 13th Annual Animation Show of Shows'
CalArts, Bijou Theater
FILM/VIDEO: Curated and presented by Ron Diamond, the 13th Annual Animation Show of Shows features nine award-winning and notable animated short films culled from the world's leading 2011 animation festivals.
Filmmakers in attendance:
Juan Pablo Zaramella, director of Luminaris
Damian Nenow, director of Paths of Hate
Ron Diamond has been involved in the world of animation for more than thirty years. He operated his own distribution company, Max Media, for six years, and later co-produced several Expanded Entertainment animation compilations, including the 20th, 21st and 22nd International Tournees of Animation, The Animation Celebration, The Second Animation Celebration and The Computer Animation Show. In 1990 Diamond founded animation production house Acme Filmworks to produce commissioned works by animators exploring unusual techniques and modes of storytelling. Acme's directorial roster is a who's who of international independent animation, including Michael Dudok De Wit, Chris Hinton, Aleksandra Korejwo, Raimund Krumme, Caroline Leaf, Bill Plympton, Gianluigi Toccafondo, Peter Chung, David Wasson and Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis.
Diamond travels to multiple film festivals and universities annually to discover talented animators. Many animators' first opportunity was through Diamonds efforts at Acme and in his annual touring program, the Animation Show of Shows, now in it's 13th edition. Diamond is also co-founder and President of AWN.com. Diamond lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two daughters, two cats and a dog.
Directed by Enrico Casarosa
A Pixar Animation Studios Production, USA, 6:53min. ©2011 Pixar Animation Studios
La Luna is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family's most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?
Directed by Verena Fels
Germany, 6:24min. ©2010 Filmakademie Baden Württemberg
At the edge of society, a cow tips the balance of destiny with quite some impact.
Paths of Hate
Directed by Damian Nenow
Poland, 10min. ©2010 Platige Image
A short tale about the demons that slumber deep in the human soul and have the power to push people into the abyss of blind hate, fury and rage.
Directed by Claudius Gentinetta & Frank Braun ©2010 Gentinettafilm
Full breath ahead into the final sleep. A lullaby for a silent decline.
Directed by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby
Canada, 13:30 min. ©2011 National Film Board of Canada
Alberta, 1909. The wide-open prairies of the wild west. Enter a welltailored young Englishman, fresh from the old country. He’s been sent to try his hand at ranching but his affection for badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. As the golden prairie summer turns to fall, it becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. Borrowing playfully from the western, the nature documentary and eyewitness reportage, this short animated film offers a fresh, wry take on the Canadian frontier experience. By contrasting details as delicate as a teacup with the immensity of the prairie sky, the clash between civilization and wilderness is starkly rendered. Wild Life is about the beauty of the untamed prairie, the pang of being homesick and the folly of living dangerously out of context.
Directed by Juan Pablo Zaramella
Argentina, 6:20 min. ©2011 Zaramella Animation
In a world controlled and timed by light, an ordinary man has a plan that could change the natural order of things. Luminaris is an animated short film made using the pixilation technique, combining real actors interacting with animated objects and time-lapse sequences. The film tells the story of a man living in a world controlled and timed by light. Every day, the inhabitants of that world are woken up and pulled to their jobs by sunlight, as if this was some sort of magnet. The main character has a routine job in a factory that makes electric bulbs. But he has something else in mind that could change the order of things.
The setting of the film is a classic Buenos Aires, revisited from a fantastic point of view. The style of the film has reminiscences of art deco, black cinema, tango, surrealism, and Italian neorealism. This mix of influences is directly linked with the history of Buenos Aires: the city and its population themselves are a mix of different cultures.
Directed by Georges Schwitzgebel
Switzerland/Canada, 7:21 min. ©2011 Studio GDS and National Film Board of Canada Production
Two strangers, a man and a woman, sit beside each other on an airplane. After takeoff, the plane goes through some turbulence and, under the influence of an unknown force, the man’s spirit plunges into a different world. Here, his desires take control, and the result is a grand romantic saga. In this animated film, director Georges Schwizgebel masterfully sweeps us into another world through music and movement, breaking down the boundaries between desire and reality. Set to the music of the second movement of Rachmaninoff’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op.19, the film transports us into the traveller’s labyrinthine thoughts. Animated with pencil, pastels and acrylics, and underpinned by the musical dialogue between piano and cello, Romance is a dazzling visual transcription of this Rachmaninoff scherzo.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Directed by William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg
USA, 16:40 min, ©2011 Moonbot Studios
A love letter to books, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is an animated short film about the curative power of story. Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award-winning author/illustrator William Joyce and co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
Journey to Cape Verde (Viagem a Cabo Verde)
Directed by José Miguel Ribeiro
Portugal, 17:30 min. ©Sardinha em Lata 2010
This story is developed from daily records of two graphics created in 2004 during a trip that I made to Cape Verde. The film that lies between the document, fiction and poetry is born of the intersection of several graphic records that punctuate the route of the traveller. For this reason, instead of a graphic like that keeps me from beginning to end, I used different graphical expressions to characterize different moods, landscapes and people. Normally, while travelling on foot the walking motion is often interspersed with moments of rest. I chose two graphic languages for this movie: the original drawings of the travel book with small animations to allow a contemplation of the drawing without dispersion, and a silhouette drawing animated on watercolour background that guides us through the story and narrates the sequence of events and linking the various drawings of the travel diary. This is a journey on what is in the exterior, but also about what is within the traveller, and above all how the two realities blend and influence a process of transformation of the human awareness.