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On Saturday, I met up with some of my SketchCrawl chums, where we had a little stall at the Sheaf Valley Festival.
It is an annual festival and is held in a fantastic location: an amphitheatre, right in the centre of Sheffield, cut into the steep hill behind the station, with great views down over the city:
Just like last year, SketchCrawl North were invited to record the occasion in our sketchbooks and were given the stall for free, to help spread the word about Urban Sketching.
We took it in turns to man the stall and, in-between, went out drawing the fun. There was plenty to go at. I especially enjoyed the challenge of sketching the dancers.
Throughout the afternoon, there were performances by lots of different kinds of dancers - all ages, from quite young children up to adults, and all in fabulous costumes, like these majorettes:
The Son de America were particularly good to sketch, in their long, swirly skirts and I loved that massive sombrero:
But possibly my favourite was the Indian dancing, with it's very particular movements. The saris were glorious. One little girl of about 9 did a long and remarkably confident solo dance. She came over to see my drawing of her afterwards and her mum took a photo.
Our stall made a very handy 'base-camp': a place to chat, chill and eat cake between sketching bouts (we were opposite a way-too-tempting cake stall). There was also a massive stall (about 4 trestle tables, laid out end-to-end) celebrating different kinds of bread, all baked and donated by local people and businesses:
I am amazed, looking back through my sketchbooks from the day, that I managed so many drawings, as I seemed to spend quite a long time chatting. It was a really sociable day - more time than usual to talk to my fellow sketchers, plus and I kept bumping into people I knew.
At 3 o'clock there was a dog show. I remembered it from last year and so was really looking forward to it. There were all kinds of dogs, big and small: some beautiful, some cute, some bouncy, some hairy - almost all rather over-excited by the occasion. They had proper judges from Crufts (!) but it was still absolutely bonkers and really funny:
We were very lucky with the weather. Despite threatening clouds and occasional wild gusts which threatened to blow the stall away, we stayed dry all day and had some bouts of gorgeous sunshine to wallow in.
The day finished off with live music. I have always had a soft spot for barbershop quartets, so especially enjoyed the Manor Tops. I gathered a crowd of children behind me while I was doing this sketch ('Can you draw me and my friend?' 'You're right good, you' 'How'd you draw that so fast?'):
It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon: local people, celebrating local talent and showcasing local produce and community groups, all having a good time, hanging out together in the sunshine - exactly what local festivals should be about. SketchCrawl North collected several new recruits over the day too.
A big thank you to the organisers: a great success. I'm already looking forward to next year!
North America’s biggest animation festival, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, has announced the feature film and short film selections for their 2013 edition. The festival takes place in Canada’s capital city from September 18-22.
“I was extremely pleased with the wide range of films this year,” said Chris Robinson, artistic director of the OIAF. “Their quality was outstanding, which made the selection process extremely difficult. The Japanese and feature films were particularly refreshing due to their boldness and originality.” The festival selected 106 finalists for competition this year, from a total of 1,924 entries.
Notably, Ottawa has expanded its feature film category this year, with a record eight feature-length films in competition. As I wrote a couple months ago, it is an “exciting time for animated features” and major animation festivals must acknowledge the growth of long-form animation to stay relevant. The feature films in competition at Ottawa this year are:
- A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman directed by Jeff Simpson, Bill Jones and Ben Timlett (UK)
- Anima Buenos Aires directed by Maria Ramirez (Argentina)
- Couleur De Peau: Miel (Approved For Adoption) directed by Laurent Boileau and Jung (France/Belgium)
- Cycle directed by Zoltan Sostai (Hungary)
- It’s Such A Beautiful Day directed by Don Hertzfeldt (USA)
- O Menino e o Mundo (The Boy and The World) directed by Ale Abreu (Brazil)
- The Pain and The Pity directed by Phil Mulloy (UK)
- Tito On Ice directed by Max Andersson and Helena Ahonen (Sweden/Germany)
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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, Das Internationale Trickfilm-Festival Stuttgart
, Emma De Swaef
, enjamin Renner
, Erik Alunurm
, Ernest and Celestine
, Hisko Hulsing
, International Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart
, Kara No Tamago
, Lucas Zanotto
, Marc James Roels
, Mari Liis Rebane
, Mari Pakkas
, Mihkel Reha
, Oh Willy...
, Ryo Okawara
, StÃ©phane Aubier
, Vincent Patar
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The Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film announced their winners last Sunday. The grand prize, which included a 15,000 Euro award (approx. $19,500), was awarded to Oh Willy… by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels. The film’s continuing success on the international festival circuit means little for its Oscar hopes since it was already entered for consideration last year and was completely overlooked by the Academy.
Other winners at Stuttgart include Ryo Okawara’s short Kara No Tamago which won the prize for animated short, and Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard which won the audience award. The animated feature prize was awarded to the French film Ernest and Celestine, which will open in the United States this fall.
International Competition Grand Prize (15,000 euros)
Oh Willy… directed by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels
Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film (10,000 euros)
Kara No Tamago (A Wind Egg) directed by Ryo Okawara (Japan)
SWR Audience Award (6,000 euros)
Junkyard directed by Hisko Hulsing (The Netherlands)
Young Animation Award/Best Student Film (2,500 euros)
Eine Murul (Breakfast on the Grass) directed by Erik Alunurm, Mari Pakkas, Mari Liis Rebane, Mihkel Reha (Estonia)
AniMovie Award for Best Animated Feature
Ernest & Celestine directed by Benjamin Renner, Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar (France, Belgium, Luxembourg)
Tricks for Kids Award for Best Children’s Feature (4,000 euros)
Schrecken ohne Ende (Nearest and Dearest) directed by Michael Sieber and Max Stöhhr
Tricks for Kids Award for Best Animated Series for Children
Roy: “Foot Fat Fit” directed by Alan Shannon (Ireland)
Cartoons for Teens award for Best Animated Series (2,500 euros)
Der Notfall (Déjà-moo) directed by Stefan Muller
German Screenplay Award (2,500 euros)
Molly Monster: The Movie written by John Chambers
Animated Fashion Award (2,000 euros)
Freitag X-Mas Movies directed by Claudia Rothlin and Yves Gutjar (Switzerland)
German Voice Award (2,500 euros)
Rick Kavanian for Knight Rusty, Yesterday’s Hero Recycled (Universum, Germany)
Animated Com Awards (Awards for the best applied animation in the fields of advertising, technology and spatial communication
sponsored by Mackevision Medien Design GmbH, Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart, Daimler AG, U.I. Lapp GmbH)
The Real Bears directed by Lucas Zanotto
Advertising (2,500 euros)
MTV EMA 2012 Opener directed by Mate Steinforth (Germany)
Technology (2,500 euros)
Mass Effect 3 – Take Earth Back directed by Istvan Zorkoczy (Hungary)
Swiss Pavilion Expo Yeosu: “The Source–It’s In Your Hands” directed by Marc Tamschick (Switzerland)
Special Prize Mercedes-Benz Classic: Silver Arrows (2,500 euros)
A Racers Sketchbook directed by Falk Schuster (Germany)
Special Prize Lapp Connected Award (2,500 euros)
Pinball directed by Darko Vidackovic (Croatia)
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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, Anima Mundi
, Approved for Adoption
, Couleur de Peau
, Dae-Gi-Eui Wang
, Fuse Teppo Musume no Torimonocho
, Krishna aur Kans
, Padak Padak
, The King Of Pigs
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The 2013 edition of Anima Mundi, the International Animation Festival of Brazil, has revealed its line-up for competition and non-competition film screenings. The 21st edition of the festival will take place in Rio de Janeiro from August 2 through 11 and São Paulo from August 14 through 18.
In the main competition category, 106 animated shorts were selected to be shown. There are additional competition categories for student films and children’s films. Seven animated features were also selected for competition in two categories:
Couleur de Peau (Approved for Adoption) directed by Jung Henin and Laurent Boileau (France, Belgium)
Fuse Teppo Musume no Torimonocho directed by Masayuki Miyaji (Japan)
Dae-Gi-Eui Wang (The King of Pigs) directed by Yeun Sang-Ho (South Korea)
Padak Padak directed by Lee Dae-Hee (South Korea)
Feature Film for Children
Krishna Aur Kans directed by Vikram Veturi (India)
Zambezia directed by Wayne Thornley (South Africa)
Anina directed by Alfredo Soderguit (Uruguay, Colombia)
Go to Anima Mundi’s website for the full list of film selections.
This summer, Brooklyn’s Animation Block Party will celebrate its tenth anniversary with its biggest slate of programmming ever.
The festival, which will take place between July 25-28, has announced its full programming line-up and film competition selections on AnimationBlock.com. The competition slate includes over 100 short films spread across four programs of animated shorts, two programs of international animated shorts and one program of children’s animation. In addition to the new animated films, the festival will be presenting archival screenings of silent animated films, 1960s Oscar-winning shorts, and the features The Secret of NIMH and Beavis & Butt-Head Do America.
The Animation Block 2013 jury consists of Jerry Beck, Devin Clark, Carrie Miller, and Scout Raskin, and the following festival awards will be presented: Student Film, Best in Show, Audience Award, Narrative Short, Computer Animation, Minute Movie, Original Design, Music Video, Experimental Animation and Animation for Kids.
The opening night on Friday, July 26th, will be presented in association with Rooftop Films at Greenpoint High School (50 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, NY 11222) and will include live music and an after-party. Individual screening tickets and full festival passes can be pre-ordered on AnimationBlock.com.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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, Annecy International Animated Film Festival
, Annecy Plus
, Betty's Blues
, Bill Kroyer
, Bill Plympton
, Blue Umbrella
, Chel White
, Chris Landreth
, Chris Prynoski
, Dan Scanlon
, Dominique Puthod
, Drunker Than a Skunk
, Eric Goldberg
, Johan Klungel
, John Dilworth
, Lucas Plympton
, Marcel Jean
, Michaela Pavlatova
, Monsters University
, Remi Vandenitte
, Sandrine Plympton
, Saschka Unseld
, Serge Bromberg
, Subconscious Password
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Bill Plympton with Chris Landreth
BILL PLYMPTON is the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of seven animated features and more than thirty animated shorts. His new feature Cheatin’ will premiere this fall. Learn more about his work at Plymptoons.com.
I went to Annecy with mixed emotions this year—after all, it was a year of major changes.
The iconic Bonlieu Centre, where all the action usually takes place, was being torn down to be replaced by a larger and hopefully more beautiful structure. Some say the new theater complex will be finished next year and some say in two years—who knows, with French construction workers.
The other new kink was the fact that celebrated artistic director Serge Bromberg was leaving after fifteen wonderful years, to be replaced by Marcel Jean. So, naturally, I felt that this would be a transitional year.
My wife Sandrine and I arrived just in time to go to the opening night event, taking place in the freshly-constructed hybrid tent cinema. The opening film was the long anticipated Pixar sequel Monsters University, directed by Dan Scanlon, along with the new Pixar short Blue Umbrella. The latter six-minute short by Saschka Unseld had a very different look from all of the former Pixar shorts, a lot more realistic, and the love story involving two colored umbrellas in a rainstorm has certain similarities to last year’s Oscar winner, Paperman.
Monsters University was a bit disappointing—for me there were too many extraneous characters to get emotionally involved, and the colors, especially the backgrounds on the campus grounds, were too neon-bright, which made it hard to enjoy the beautiful design and follow the characters.
The next morning I had a panel about crowdfunding and Kickstarter. Like a similar panel I hosted at Stuttgart, it was a packed house. After years of sucking off the government teat, the Europeans are mad for a more democratic, and perhaps hassle-free, way for raising money to make films.
Bill Plympton with his son Lucas Plympton
Tuesday afternoon was the Competition Shorts creening #2, and my film Drunker Than a Skunk was in that group, so Sandrine and I needed to attend to present the film. The program started off promisingly enough—meaning that the films were not that good and hence the audience would love our film. All the early films in the program were abstract or avant-garde, therefore not crowd-pleasers. Then came Remi Vandenitte’s Betty’s Blues, a wonderful ode to Southern blues music that had a terrific style. Then Drunker came on and we received a very nice reaction. We felt we were looking good for Awards Night.
But, later in the program, came Chris Landreth’s unmemorably named Subconscious Password, a totally delightful and bold CG film starring Chris and the enigmatic John Dilworth. Then and there, I knew our awards chances flew out the window. Oh well, once I knew I didn’t have to worry about awards, I could just enjoy the week and relax.
My next event was a work-in-progress screening of my new feature, Cheatin’. There was a really good buzz going about this film, so tickets were hard to get and a lot of people asked me to sneak them in.
I showed some pencil tests and finished scenes, drew some of the character designs and talked about the production. The audience applauded throughout (which I loved) and then I moved to a table just outside the exit, next to a beautiful creek, and gave everyone in line a free sketch, which took about an hour.
For the past seven years, I’ve been presenting the “Annecy Plus” show, first with Pat Smith, and now with Nik and Nancy Phelps. It’s been a smashing success. This year, we were forced to relocate the popular event to the wonderful Café des Arts in Old Town. We promoted the hell out of it, and the weather was perfect so we had high hopes for a big success. Unfortunately, there was no movie screen!
Jonas Raeber, the projectionist and sound man, was able to “borrow” two large sheets from his hotel. Another problem: the door with access to the balcony, where we wanted to hang the sheets, was locked with no key. So, a drunk Indian animator volunteered to leap from an open window across to the balcony—a real Jackie Chan-type moment. I had visions of a terrible accident, and me spending three years in French courts fighting a lawsuit, but the dashing Indian succeeded, and he had free beers all night.
Nik Phelps and his band kicked off the evening with some lively music, and we began the show. Then, the next tragedy struck. Even though Virginia, the proprietor of the bar, had received permission from the city council to hold a late-night screening, there was a rave the night before and it created such a ruckus that her permit was revoked. Thus, we had to turn the sound off at 10p.m., and the problem with that was that it didn’t get dark until 9:30. As a result, the audience only heard one out of the four programs—the last three were silent. Quel dommage.
Bill Plympton with Titmouse’s Chris Prynoski
However, there was enough beer and wine for everyone, and a good time was had by all. The Annecy Plus winning film, by the way, was Super by Johan Klungel. As for the main Annecy awards show, it was a happy affair with nice weather, and Serge showed up to give out the awards with Marcel Jean. The big winner of the evening, and justifiably so, was Subconscious Password by Chris Landreth. He gave a fantastic speech, then we all went to party at the Palais, where I visited with Eric Goldberg, Bill Kroyer, Chris Prynoski of Titmouse Studios, Dominique Puthod (the president of the festival), Chel White, and Michaela Pavlatova, last year’s winner with Tram.
The best news was that everyone was talking about Cheatin’, so chances are good it will be in competition next year in Annecy. See you all there!
Dominique Puthod (Annecy Festival President), his wife Catherine, Bill and
I just received a package through the post: a mysterious little jiffy bag that, once opened, proved to be a DVD of photos from the Northern Children's Book Festival Gala Day, where I did events with my good friend Julia Jarman: we've done 4 books together now.
Gala Day is the big finale, where lots of authors and illustrators perform in one venue. It already seems ages ago, although it was only 3 weeks. It's great fun, although quite an undertaking to organise, which is why the responsibility for it rotates around the region's libraries. This year we were in an extraordinary living museum. Our events, were in a room called 'the ballroom', with a huge crystal chandelier above and walls encrusted with oil paintings.
As usual, Julia and I had a great laugh - we make such a good team. Luckily everyone else seemed to enjoy it too!
After each event, we had to put on big coats and leave our warm, cosy room to walk the length of a Victorian cobbled street (complete with working shops, street urchins and a blacksmith's yard) to the signing tent at the other end. It was so cold, the street was shrouded in icy mist all day long, which leant it an authentic Jack-the-Ripper air!
I just love how excited these little boys are.
There were hot-air blowers to warm the tent and we were lucky - the blower was under our end of the long table, though someone (no names mentioned...) sneakily pinched our prime spot when we came back after lunch!!
Isn't this little girl cute?
I am so pleased that, so far at least, the NCBF has survived the funding cuts. It's a wonderful festival, bringing authors to libraries all over the North East and the Gala Day is something special - you only have to look at the children's faces.
Thank you lovely library people, for all your hard work (again), and thank you to Tom Kirby for the great photos!
In honor of Midwinter and the world not ending, I’d like to share the following video from a folk song festival I attended back in October. First, a little background: When my mom and her sisters were little, they used to spend part of their summers at a Lithuanian camp called Dainava, in Michigan. And [...]
And London's Imagine Festival is now open! Last night the Imagine team and The Book People gathered children's book people from far and wide to celebrate the start of two weeks of amazing family events on the Southbank. Check out the programme, have you booked your tickets? (Don't miss my two events with Philip Reeve next Sunday!)
I took rather random photos on the night and missed out lots of people (including David Roberts, who's one of my all-time fave illustrators), Jeff Norton (whose book I reviewed recently) and Steve Cole (who's done joint events with me), but here are a few peeks at the evening. Oh look, there's Philip Ardagh, mucking about as always, with publisher Alison Green.
Some of my best mates, David O'Connell (whose first book with HarperCollins, Monster and Chips, is launching in three weeks) and my fab studio mate Gary Northfield (whose book with Walker Books, TEENYTINYSAURS, launches in May), and our lovely agent, Jodie Marsh.
Showing off my fancy hat with super-prolific writer Ali Sparkes!
Babette Cole and I adopted young illustrator Sam Usher and spent all evening doing our best to embarrass him. He took it very well.
Writer Andy Stanton with Book People chair Ted Smart and writer Anthony McGowan:
Writer and reviewer Nicolette Jones, writer-illustrator Jez Alborough, writer Nicola Davies, Ardagh and Thirst for Fiction YA book blogger Rhys Jones:
We were all asked to bring along our favourite word and make a badge of it; here's illustrator Garry Parsons with 'SPLAT':
Garry with an agent (named Alice, I think?) and illustrator Adam Stower:
Sam Usher with writer Holly Smale, whose first book, Geek Girl launches the same day with HarperCollins as Dave O'Connell's.
Illustrator-writer team Emma Dodd and Kelly Gerrard. There were quite a few Americans about, and I somehow didn't manage to get a snap of Caroline Lawrence, who last time I saw her was in full cowgirl outfit.
A big thanks to organiser Ruth Huddleston, for all the hard work she's putting into organising the Imagine Festival! Here she is with her daughter, Lydia:
Oh dear, it's that Ardagh again! I need a longer photo to fit him in.
And a big thanks to the Southbank's Performance and Dance Programmer Tamsin Ace, who's also been putting in huge efforts to get this festival rolling!
Gary Northfield, writer Alex Milway and David O'Connell. They drank beers but I stuck to the mojitos.
I found myself sitting right behind writer Sarwat Chadda during the speeches.
Here writer Lauren St John and I are trying to decide on a proper photo face.
Cartoonist and writer-illustrator Joe Berger with his partner Charlotte, and writer-illustrator Ed Vere:
Poor Axel Sheffler. Every time I've seen him, I've taken a photo of us looking more and more terrified (for some reason), but I think we've plumbed the depths of terror and must come up with a new expression for festival photos.
Thanks so much, Ruth, Tamsin, all of the Imagine team, Book People and the evening's great performers for a lovely night! Bring on the festival!
What a day! Philip Reeve and I did two Imagine Festival joint events in the big ballroom in the middle of the Royal Festival Hall, in front of over a thousand people! Thank you, Philip, for this oh-so-lovely picture you drew of me during my introduction:
We were introduced by the incredibly striking Madame Lark, who was rather disturbingly carrying a large saw and violin bow.
No one was injured during the course of our event, although some musical notes got some seriously abusive-but-impressive treatment. She's a hard woman with a voice box and she knows how to use it.
Can you believe I used to be shy... For our afternoon Monsters vs Goblins show, the ballroom was packed, with people standing at the back.
Photo by Ruth Huddleston
It was lovely of the festival to accommodate our monsters theme with their own monsters...
Here's a monster that the audience helped us draw, Philip and me taking turns adding bits to it.
This page started out as a joint drawing but turned into a war zone.
Another audience-assisted monster drawing:
The group at the morning show got to draw their own monsters and goblins, too!
At the book signing afterward, it was fun seeing them come up with their drawings.
This girl drew a very literal Morris the Mankiest Monster vs Skarper the goblin!
Here's a drawing Philip made when he was introducing Skarper and the goblin chief, King Knobbler. If you like, you can play the Goblins Bratapult Wars game (a bit like Angry Birds) over on the Scholastic website.
And here's another drawing of Skarper, and my very helpful drawing of a dwarf. It was fun getting a rise out of the crowd by adding the bows, bunnies and ballet shoes while Philip had his back turned. BEHIND YOU!
Philip had a 150-people, sold-out Goblins workshop in between our two events (they really worked him!). Here he is, right before the workshop, doing a warm-up drawing.
Philip led the group in a world-building exercise. He's used to the 'young adult' crowd, from his Mortal Engines books and such, so it was a little different and surprising for him, having a much younger audience. But they were all still totally into it, building their own worlds.
Such as this one, so awesome:
A few more:
A huge thanks to my fabulous Scholastic picture book editor, Pauliina Malinen-Teodoro, who came along with her son to help out for the day.
I had several editors for my last picture book, but Pauliina came in right at the end, and now I'm working with her on a brand-new picture book that I've both written and illustrated. I already love working with her, she's ace.
Hurrah to the Imagine Festival team! It took hundreds (if not thousands) of people to make it happen, but here's organiser Ruth Huddleston (@Marielairre on Twitter) and Alton Brown (@AltonCarlBrown):
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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, comic convention
, UK comics
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Tweet The UK’s largest comics festival, Thought Bubble, has announced it’s first wave of guests for this year. Declared rather unanimously to be the best festival on the British comics circuit by professionals and fans alike, Thought Bubble is situated in the North of England in it’s greatest city, which also just happens to be [...]
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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, Hoang Ngoc
, JÃ©rÃ©my Clapin
, Jonas Ott
, Lei Lei
, Maria Vernoica Ramirez
, Milen Vitanov
, Paco Vink
, Piotr Loc
, Thomas Sauvin
, Gianluigi Toccafondo
, Albert 't Hooft
, Edmunds Jansons
, Feature Film
, Adriano Vessichelli
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The 16th edition of the Holland Animation Festival wrapped up earlier today in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard won the top prize for Dutch animation, while Jérémy Clapin’s latest film Palmipedarium took home the festival’s top prize for narrative animated shorts.
The Short Film jury was comprised of Gabriella Giandelli (Italy), Steven Subotnick (United States) and Marc James Roels (Belgium). The Feature Film jury consisted of Hans Walther (Netherlands), Luca Raffaelli (Italy) and Frans Westra (Netherlands). Student Film jury was Marc Bertrand (Canada), Chris Sullivan (United States) and René Windig (Netherlands), and Dutch prize jury was Nik Christensen (UK/Netherlands), Ton Gloudemans (Netherlands) and Dennis Tupicoff (Australia).
Here is the complete list of winners:
Winner Grand Prix—Dutch animation:
Junkyard by Hisko Hulsing (NL/BE, 2012)
Winner Grand Prix—Narrative shorts:
Palmipedarium by Jérémy Clapin (FR, 2012)
Winners Grand Prix—Non-narrative shorts
Recycled by Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin (CN, 2012)
Winner Grand Prix—Feature:
Ánima Buenos Aires by María Verónica Ramírez (AR, 2012)
Winner Grand Prix—European student films
Washed Ashore by Jonas Ott (AKV St. Joost Breda, NL, 2012)
HAFF Audience award Dutch animation
Fallin’ Floyd by Paco Vink and Albert ’t Hooft (NL, 2012)
Klassefilm HAFF Junior Audience award in cooperation with Eye
Rising Hope by Milen Vitanov (Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Konrad Wolf Potsdam, DE, 2012)
Winner web competition HAFFTube
Odio by Adriano Vessichelli (UK, 2012)
MovieZone HAFF Award in cooperation with Eye
Briganti senza Leggenda (Thugs with no Legend) by Gianluigi Toccafondo (FR, 2012)
Student film Honorable Mentions
International Father’s Day by Edmunds Jansons (Estonian Academy of Arts, LV, 2012)
Steven and the Beetle by Hoang Ngoc, Piotr Loc (Polish National Film School in Lodz, PL, 2012)
The world’s longest-running and largest animation festival, Annecy, announced short film and TV selections today for its 2013 edition, which will take place June 10-15 in Annecy, France. This year’s competition will consist of 52 shorts, 51 graduation films, 35 TV series and specials, 11 music vids, 23 commercial projects and 4 educational/industrial films. Feature film selections will be announced at a later date.
Films that were rejected from competition still have an opportunity to screen at Annecy +, the renegade Annecy offshoot organized by Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps. The seventh annual Annecy + takes place on the Friday of the festival. Submissions are being accepted until May 13. Submission details on Facebook.
(Annecy 2013 poster design by Arthur Collin)
The 4th edition of Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films will take place in Třeboň, Czech Republic from May 3 to 8. The festival recently announced its competition line-up which includes 10 animated features and 50 short films. Anifilm will also present tributes to the legendary animation studios Zagreb Film and United Productions of America (UPA) with multiple programs dedicated to the films of those studios. Special guests include legendary filmmakers Borivoj Dovnikovic of Zagreb Film and Gene Deitch of UPA.
I’m excited to be heading to the festival to moderate a panel about UPA that will include Gene Deitch and filmmaker Emily Hubley (John and Faith Hubley’s daughter). I will also be serving on the feature film jury with filmmaker Regina Pessoa (Kali the Little Vampire, Tragic Story with Happy Ending) and Igor Prassel, programming director of the Slovenian festival Animateka International Animated Film Festival.
(Anifilm photo by Danica Kovacevic)
If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I'd been at the Hay Festival in Wales last weekend to do a comic event for adults. Well, I went back! This time it was all about mucking in with the kids. And nothing goes down better than a storming pirate session. My big new hat is working even better than I could have hoped.
We had some great pirate drawings come out of the session. Everyone drew Captain Waffle from You Can't Scare a Princess! with me, then everyone did a freestyle pirate. Check out this girl Alice's! Her name is Beauty Bibble Bops and the front of her pirate dress reads, Here Be Toilet Roll. She does not say ARRR like Waffle, rather, Hmph. Most excellent!
I had way too much fun swanning about the festival in over-the-top outfits. Radio presenter James Naughtie (pronounced 'nockety', people, not naughty) told me I looked 'magnificent', which pleased me to no end and gave me a good excuse to nab him for a quick photo. When I first moved to Britain and didn't know anyone, I learned a lot of what I know about the country from BBC Radio 4, so I've heard a lot from this Jim chappie.
Oh, and look, there is Horrible Histories' lead illustrator Martin Brown, and why is he about to fall off the stage? This I do not know, because I was busy drawing a giant comic at the time and only saw it later in the photo.
For our joint event, Martin, Philip Reeve and I introduced ourselves with silly drawings, took suggestions from the audience, then started to build up characters, based on their suggestions, into a story. And gosh, does it take some lightning-fast drawing reflexes to whip together a three-way comic in front of a huge group of onlookers! Fortunately the crowd was amazingly friendly and helpful and didn't mind that we were bashing out pictures and words at the kind of speed that didn't let us draw the way we would for our own books. And the ideas were flying thick and fast, and it was terribly silly, and it was LOADS OF FUN. Here's our final comic strip!
Funnily enough, Philip drew just as fast as Martin and me, but somehow his work managed to look weirdly polished. Which amused us to no end, and it was hard to focus on my own drawing when I kept wanting to watch the other two!
Yup, you'd never believe this panel was drawn in, like, two minutes. And by the one of us who claims not to be an illustrator anymore. Whatever. Philip also used to draw for Horrible Histories, which must be an awfully good training ground. And funnily enough, the guy I did an event with the previous weekend at Hay, Rob Davis, also draws those books! There's a bit of a theme going on there.
A brown-haired kid in the audience had the idea of drawing a cheetah with wings, so I took on that character. Martin took the zombie suggestion, and Philip drew a space dog. And since ki
Get ready for COMICS AWESOME! 'Cos it's coming to London, and very soon! Kids, teenagers, families, this is a great chance to meet some of Britain's top comics creators, get stuck in and make a whole comic book with them! They are Jamie Littler, Gary Northfield, Nana Li, Jamie Smart, David O'Connell, Neill Cameron and me!
You'll get tips from these pros, feedback on your work, and a chance to watch the creators do live drawing and comics battles. If you have a portfolio, this is one of those rare chances when you can bring it along, sit down with a creator and have them look at it and discuss it with you.
It's all free! And if you like, you can buy our comics and picture books on-site at the Guardian bookshop and get us to sign and draw in them for you. I'll be posting more exciting stuff about it soon, but MARK YOUR DIARIES! Go on, do it now. And spread the word! I'll be totally awesome. And we're not the only thing that's happening, there will be loads of other marquees with great events going on for both the Saturday and Sunday of the Pop Up Festival (although our comics tent is just Saturday), including Axel Scheffler, Baroness Floella Benjamin, James Mayhew, writer (and occasional cartoonist) Candy Gourlay, writer & illustrator Laura Dockrill, writer Marcus Sedgwick and writer Nii Parkes. Awesomesauce.
Sarah McIntyre, Jamie Littler, Gary Northfield, Nana Li, Jamie Smart, David O'Connell, Neill Cameron
Note: Adults without kids, you can come, too! You just might need to share your scissors and give way to the teenagers and little 'uns if there's a big queue in the Portfolio Review area.
Today I went up to Coventry for another storming pirate event, this time for the city's very first literary festival, Literally Coventry. And one of the main planners was Alex T. Smith's mum! I met Alex for the first time at the Edinburgh book fest two years ago but while we've chatted away on Twitter, we'd never managed to meet up again. So I was excited when I found out we had events on the same day. Here's Alex at lunch with Claude (who is a dog) and Sir Bobblysock (who is a sock).
And here's the lovely festival logo Alex drew, featuring Coventry's most famous resident, Lady Godiva. I'm such a fan of Alex's work.
We drew pictures of each other! This is so, so awesome.
Alex's mum and dad collected me from the train station, and after my event and before lunch, they somehow managed to slip away and pick up both of Alex's dogs. TOO CUTE. The one on the left is Mr Bongo and the smaller one is CocoPop.
And here's my drawing of Alex and his fab book character, Claude! (Who's named Léon in France.)
Thanks to the great team who have worked so hard to make the festival happen: Joy Court, Alex's parents, and lots more fabulous folk!
My event came right after the screening of Aardman's PIRATES, which is an excellent film with humour on several different levels. One of the organisers told me that some of the kids in the audience had never been to a cinema before, and I've never seen kids so rapt and involved in a showing; they cheered, gasped and clapped at all the right bits, and shushed us adults when we burst out laughing at the bits they didn't understand were funny. (The film's based on artwork by Jonny Duddle, another fine pirating children's books illustrator.) I didn't think the kids would be able to sit still after a feature-length film without much of a break, so I changed tack a bit with the event and we started out with competitive pirate roaring, and then got a bunch of kids up on stage and turned them into a Pirate Piano. Which is something I think I will build on and use again, so look out for the Pirate Piano.
I got all gooshy when I uploaded these photos to my computer and I just have to post them. CUTE CUTE CUTE. Here's Alex's dad with CocoPop.
If you follow Alex on Twitter (@Alex_T_Smith), these dogs get lots of mentions. You can even follow Claude (@CLAUDE_and_SirB).
Thanks, Alex, for the fabulous drawing and a fine lunch!
What's happening in the COMICS BIG-TOP OF AWESOME ON Saturday, 30 June? Here's the schedule! It made change a little bit, but you get the picture.
Noon - COMICS BIG-TOP OF AWESOME opens! Review sessions between you and the creators for your portfolio / sketchbook / newly-made-comic will run throughout the day. (Tip: Get there early if you want to avoid the queues!)
1:00 - COMICS CONSEQUENCES! Watch the pros create weird and wonderful characters together
1:30 - David O'Connell - live drawing tutorial
2:00 - Sarah McIntyre - live drawing tutorial
2:15 - Zoom Rockman - live drawing tutorial
2:30 - COMICS MONSTER DRAW-OFF! Who can draw the scariest monster? The best-dressed monster? A monster dentist? Monster wedding? Help the pros decide what they're going to draw!
3:00 - Neill Cameron - live drawing tutorial
3:30 - Jamie Smart - live drawing tutorial
4:00 - Nana Li - live drawing tutorial
4:30 - Gary Northfield - live drawing tutorial
5:00 - COMICS BATTLE! Watch the pros pit their characters against each other for the Final Showdown.
5:30 - Jamie Littler - live drawing tutorial
6:00 - Closing time (But come back tomorrow for other awesome Pop Up Festival events!)
So I hear you asking, who are all these comics creators we're going to hang out with on Saturday, 30 June? And what comics and books have they made? Can I buy copies of their books and get them to sign and draw in them? Well, here's our line-up, and yes! The Guardian bookshop will be selling these fine books throughout the day. You'll notice a certain theme going here, many of them write and draw for The Phoenix Comic. The Phoenix Comic is probably the best thing happening in comics for kids (say, ages 8+) that's happening in Britain right now, and needs your support to keep it going strong. Do think about subscribing (which you can do here)! (They're not paying me to say this, I honestly think The Phoenix Comic is Awesome.)
David O'Connell (who's been awesome in helping me organise this event)
Sarah McIntyre (that's me!)
And we have a new guest in the lineup, Zoom Rockman!
I wanted to get Zoom on board because
The big day finally came, and it was AWESOME! The Comics Big-Top of Awesome totally rocked London's Pop Up Festival and kids and adults alike were pumping character drawings and comics out of that pavilion.
Here was our amazing team: Neill Cameron, Nana Li, me, Gary Northfield, Jamie Littler, Jamie Smart and David O'Connell. (You can see the books they make if you click here.) When Pop Up Director Dylan Calder offered me the chance to curate one of the festival venues and do anything I wanted, it could have been daunting, but it wasn't, because I knew I could get my awesome comics friends to come along and help me run it. And most of them do a lot of comics festivals and events, so they know how to work with kids and get them excited and eager to make up their own stories. Being able to draw and tell stories, combined with a sense of humour means this stuff comes pretty naturally to them.
And the day DID run amazingly well! All the creators had a good idea of which kids needed guidance making their comics, and sat alongside them, drawing and chatting with them. And besides the comics making that went all on day, we had a solid programme of awesome events!
David O'Connell shot footage of one round of the COMICS BATTLE, a fiercely fought drawing duel: Gary Northfield vs Jamie Littler!
It was fun coming home and seeing the tweets:
When Dave, Stuart and I arrived in the morning, the incredibly talented and dedicated art student team from Central Saint Martins had been working hard until site closing time the night before and the place looked AMAZING!
They'd worked with me on a layout for the venue, and as for decorating it, Neill Cameron and I came up with the idea of making it a comics circus theme, fellow Pop Up curator Candy Gourlay suggested the idea of the Story Wheels, and I asked them to make it bright and fit in as many animal characters as possible. And I was absolutely thrilled at what they came up with! (You can see more photos of the team - Isa Caruncho, Chiahui Liao and Maddy Rita Faye - on my last blog post here.)
Our team was actually bigger than the seven adult comics artists, we had four more people on board, selling comics they'd made and drawing portraits: Frankie, Katie, Staizie and Zoom Rockman. It was one of the first times the three girls from Winchester House School had sold their comics, and they were making a comics diary of their trip to London with their art teacher, fab printmaker Tobias Till. Zoom, age 11, has been making and selling comics for several years, and I heard that he'd even been flown out to Korea to talk about comics there! The guy doesn't let being young stop him, which is the height of awesomeness.
Is London on target for the Olympics? Well, the Discover Children's Story Centre is! Lying in the shadow of the Olympic Park, they've set up a whole programme of interactive storytelling, called StoryCloud, as part of the London 2012 Festival cultural olympiad, open to kids everywhere to add their drawing and writing online!
So on Saturday, I threw on my sports gear and raced down to Olympicsland to do my bit. For London. FOR THE WORLD.
So while writer and my project colleague Philip Ardagh welcomed visiting dignitaries (what is a dignitary?), celebrities and heads of state, I led a big pack of excited kids in the Discover centre in bout of Down the Plughole-themed storytelling.
Since so much of StoryCloud is an online storytelling experience, I thought I'd use some of the bits and bobs I'd come up with, which hadn't been used for the interactive illustration, to create a sort of primitive slideshow animation. There was one little boy in the front, in an orange t-shirt, who went into absolute laughing hysterics when our character, Morris, got a sponge squeezed over his head, which was most heartening. Anyway, here's a rough approximation of what we did, although it was me reading, not Philip. (Hear Philip read the whole story, karaoke-style, over on the website, storycloud.co.uk.)
Then we thought about the kinds of things Morris might encounter down the plughole, and the kids helped me design a 'Sewergator'. Isn't it charming?
They also helped me come up with a comic, which made perfect sense on the day, but now seems slightly fragmented. Drawing comics to order in front of lots of people is a challenging past-time.
Then the kids came up with their own ideas about the things Morris would encounter down there. I might create my own fan art for this image by one kid, it's great.
It really was all happening that day, here's the Olympic Torch procession passing the Discover centre just minutes before our event.
...And would you look at that! Ha ha, I got to carry the torch for a whole 23 seconds. (Yes I did, of course I did.)
And then Stuart and I went for a wander around the Olympic Park, to inspect.
We didn't get to go up Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond's Olympic tower, but we'd quite like to.
The view from the skybridge inside Westfield:
And hey, cool artwork in next-door Stratford tube station. Love the 'taches!
A few more sewer be
So here are the top superheroes behind one of the best book festivals I've ever been to! Meet Tom Donegan and Sarah Webb, Ireland's ultimate dream team:
The sun was shining bright and Dun Laoghaire (pronounced 'dun LEER-y'), just next to Dublin, felt like being on the Mediterranean riviera. And I got to hang out with one of my best friends, writer Philip Reeve! We strolled along the promenade with Irish filmmaker Frank Kelly, who kindly agreed to take this author photo for the book I'm working on with Philip right now, Oliver and the Seawigs. My studio mate, Gary, just looked over my shoulder and said I look like a mermaid, so that's perfect.
On the first evening, Tom and Sarah took me for dinner with Philip, writer Marcus Sedgwick and top librarian Dr Marian Thérèse Keyes, who took the photo.
After dinner, Marcus, Philip and I went along to hear Sarah Webb talk about her book and writing, along with lots of other writers for adults and young adults, including Cathy Kelly, Katie Fforde, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, Sinéad Moriarty and Marita Conlon-McKenna. Our dinner had run overtime a bit, so we were sitting way, way in the back and couldn't see all that much. The panel gave a great talk, but the three of us were quite jolly from dinner and I made stupid drawings of us.
The next morning, Philip and I did a big MONSTERS & GOBLINS stage event, in front of something like 300 kids. It was loads of fun! Here's Philip with a miniature version of a bratapult, a weapon of war which plays quite a key part in his Goblins book. In fact, his main character spends something like two chapters falling after being hurtled from such a device. We fired goblins into the audience to make some merry chaos.
At two different events, we introduced ourselves while the other person drew an attractive portrait. We weren't allowed to look at our portrait until it was finished. You can get a glimpse over my shoulder here of Philip's drawing of me, which set the kids in the audience absolutely howling.
I grossed out the kids with a reading from Morris the Mankiest Monster and then the kids helped us invent new monsters, and Philip and I took turns drawing how we thought some of the characters in Goblins might look, including Trolls and Boglins. Here's Philip's Boglin.
Then we turned the kids into a tribe of goblins by having them each design a goblin face.
It was fun seeing the kids' work when they came up to get their books signed.
As ever, I can't post photos of the schoolchildren's faces, which is a shame, but they look quite nice with books for heads.
After the show, we recorded an interview for national television, RTE2's Elev8 programme (the same show Gary Northfield and I took part in a couple years ago, which you can see here). It'll go live in the show's next season, probably some time in October. Here are camera crew Elaine Buckley, Julian Hills and Orla Morris-Toolen.
Orla (in the polka-dot dress) was an amazing interviewer; the camera crew would ask her to do something a bit different, and she'd quickly think about it and come up with a good way to ask us a question that fitted in well with the flow of the programme. Not many kids can think on their feet as calmly as that, I was really impressed.
Later on in the festival, I ran into Moldovan Elev8 presenter Diana Bunici, who'd interviewed Gary and me last time. You can follow her on Twitter as @DeeBTweets and read her blog here.
And here's the fabulous illustration exhibition Tom Donegan put together in the County Hall! Scholastic UK let the festival have sneak peeks at two spreads in my new book, Superkid with Claire Freedman, coming out next spring. Here they are, printed up large:
Both times Philip and I had some time off, we took the chance to stroll along the beautiful Dun Laoghaire harbour. Philip took a photo of me in front of this big sea urchin sculpture and said I looked like something painted on the front of a B-52, the thought of which pleases me to no end.
You can just about see the James Joyce Tower in the background. I really should know what this is. *Makes note to self to try to get into Ulysses again, despite several failed attempts*
And here's some of the jolly gang from Children's Books Ireland! Mags Walsh, Jenny Murray (and Aoife (pronounced 'EEF-ah') Murray arrived a bit later); bookseller and blogger Kim Harte, can someone remind me who that nice gentleman is?, and Tom.
The next day, Philip and I led a Comics Jam workshop in the lovely posh yacht club, with about 20 kids.
We started out by talking about character design. Here's one Philip drew:
And a kid's drawing. Isn't it fabulous?
Then we took our characters and put them into a comics story. Here's one Philip and I bashed out at great speed, taking turns with each panel, with story material based on suggestions from the kids.
Then we set the kids off on their Comics Jam!
They had five minutes to draw a panel, then everyone passed their papers to the next person and for the next five minutes in the second panel, took up the new story where their neighbour had left off.
And so on, passing every five minutes until the four panels were filled.
At the end of 20 minutes, they had some great results. Here's one that made us laugh.
One of the cool things about doing events is meeting kids who are really stuck into comics already. Here's Finn, who brought along his notebook to show us and will obviously be an awesome comics artist if he keeps working as hard as he's doing now.
I was thrilled to see he'd been studying my favourite comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes. Copying is a great way to learn in detail how another artist works, and I remember copying pages and pages of Archie comics when I was his age.
And he's coming up with great stuff of his own! Philip laughed and pointed out this Will-You-Need-a-Gas-Mask-o-Meter.
You can definitely see the influence of other comics on Finn's work, and it's great to see how he's exploring them and starting to add his own creative elements. Look out for this guy, he made be making appearances at small press comics fairs in the next few years.
After our comics jam, we met up with lots of other writers on the yacht club deck to go for the Monster Book Lunch. I didn't get to talk with them as much as I would have liked to, but that's Claire Hennessey on the left (whom I hardly got to meet), someone (can anyone tell me who?) in the middle who I didn't really get to meet at all, and Judi Curtin, with whom I chatted briefly and is really lovely. Apparently her books are as popular in Ireland as Jacqueline Wilson's books are in England, so look out, English people, you might be seeing more of this lady.
When I walked into the lovely banquet room, I was kind of expecting the table I was sharing with Philip Reeve to be packed with girls in tea party dresses. And most of the tables were like this, except ours, which was entirely seated with ROWDY BOYS. Ha ha! They were gentlemen enough to warn me not to drink the squash, which had salt and pepper added to it.
At most tables, the esteemed writers were having gracious conversations with their table mates, but that wasn't going to happen at ours. Instead we played a Monster Consequences game, and made some pretty awesome creatures.
It was loads of fun meeting kids who already knew my work, including Shauna here, who was a huge fan and sent me a lovely e-mail which I read on my phone at the airport on the way home.
Here's our marvellous bookseller for the festival, the ever-energetic Bob Jonstone, who runs The Gutter Bookshop in Dublin's Temple Bar area. His shop's been getting lots of publicity and winning loads of awards recently, and he and his team ran the whole book sales side of things completely smoothly. Thanks, Bob!
I left the Monster Book Lunch a bit early to do another Comics Jam workshop for older kids than the first one I'd done with Philip. Finn was there, but the rest were teenagers and a couple adults. They'd come to hear Steve Simpson give a talk on Superhero Illustration, but he had a family emergency, and the people at the workshop were great about letting me step in. Here are a couple of the Comics Jam results:
Meanwhile Philip Reeve was getting ready to go on a panel with writer Michelle Harrison, and I managed to dash in to listen, just as they were getting going.
The panel was a project for the three girls interviewing Michelle and Philip. They'd had the chance to choose writers they'd like to interview, get them invited to the festival, and spend quite a lot of time preparing for the interview. They knew the writers' books well, and were able to ask some great questions.
I was interested to find out that, like Philip, Michelle also does some illustration (as does Marcus Sedgwick, whom I mentioned earlier). And both she and Philip were very influenced by the early work of Brian Froud, who designed the looks for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth films. Michelle writes a lot of horror stuff, and read from her recent book, Unrest, inspired by the sleep disorders she's encountered in people she knows. Here's the trailer video, and you can find out more over on her website.
Here's the fab panel, being VERY SCARED.
Or is that speakers being VERY SCARY?
One of the great things about Mountains to Sea is that the festival's all within walking distance and everyone stays at the same place. So we were always bumping into people, including the writer Eoin Colfer (creator of Artemis Fowl), who wasn't even taking part in the festival this year!
Here's the Royal Marine Hotel, a lovely Victorian candybox of a place:
I got to sit across from Michelle at dinner, and meet writer Robert Muchamore. I didn't really know Robert's work, but he's the writer of the Cherub graphic novels, which my friend John Aggs illustrates, so it was great to meet him. Michelle (@MHarrison13) tweeted: Sat next to @RobertMuchamore at dinner earlier. He threw olives at me and pulled my hair. ...I think I will say nothing about that.
The next day, writer-illustrator Chris Judge and I went to the People's Park to take part in the Picture Book Picnic. I'd met Chris once before, at the festival at Tales on Moon Lane, but I'd been so busy keeping my group of kids from dumping paint on the bookshop floor that I didn't have much time to see him in action.
Here I am, reading from You Can't Scare a Princess.
Chris did a great job reading from The Lonely Beast and The Great Explorer and getting the kids to respond.
It was so obvious that all the kids, parents, festival volunteers, everyone, really love him. That's something so nice I'm noticing about Ireland. They don't have a huge home-grown publishing scene, but those they do have, they really get to know and cherish them. I really like that.
We both did some drawing with the kids. Here's Chris showing us how to draw the walrus from his book.
So many kids showed up that some of them had to share clip boards. I love this photo.
And this one, too. The team of volunteers was brilliant. And can I just say that if I was making an epic action film, I would want to cast this awesome-looking one in the lead role? This is designer-illustrator Simone Crowley and I spent some of the picnic admiring her and her tattoos from afar.
And one more photo with Chris. The weeping willow in the Secret Garden section of the park made for a wonderfully atmospheric storybook kind of place.
After the picnic, Tom and a lovely volunteer named Jenny hustled me off to County Hall for The Big Picture Panel Discussion with Chris, Inis magazine editor David Maybury and David Mackintosh.
No event involving the whirlwind that is David Maybury can be anything other than terribly exciting, and this panel was no exception. The best part for me was finding out about David Mackintosh's work. I'd never even heard of him, but his books are SO beautiful.
David's now London-based, but he was born in Belfast and grew up in Australia. And he worked as a graphic designer before moving into making his own picture books. And you can really tell: his understanding of typography, colour, how to use space on the page is exceptional.
I'm already such a fangirl. Here's the dedication in one of the books I bought:
Aren't these pictures the best thing ever?
I talked a bit about self-publishing during the panel, and at the end, two members of the audience came up and gave me copies of their self-published books, The Enlightened Light Bulb Boy by Dublin-based Brazilian illustrator Tarsila Krüse and the Yum! Yum! Recipe Booklet by Tarsila and her friend Paula McGloin.
Googling their names, I saw their blog post about the annual Dublin Zine Fair, which looks like something worth visiting or taking part in if you're in town.
After the panel, CBI's Jenny Murray set me up for my interview for Inis magazine with Cethan Leahy, and we had a good chat.
Then it was time to go home. Jenny whisked me off for a late lunch at the bagel place, then I got a festival taxi to the airport with Philip's agent, Philippa Milnes-Smith, and Sara Wingate Gray, who runs The Itinerant Poetry Library. Philippa and I listened, enthralled, to all the stuff Sara's been getting up to with her suitcase of poetry books, providing her 'guerilla public library service'. She was one of the first librarians to know about Twitter, which you can guess from her succinct Twitter name, @Librarian. I mentioned Audrey Niffenegger's graphic novel, The Night Bookmobile and short story Moths of the New World, and we decided that Sara had probably crawled out of the pages of one of those books before they were even written.
Oh, and this is my lovely new companion, a 'zonk' which I have named Webbster Donegan. She loves flying, even though her wings aren't terribly aerodynamic.
I was sad to leave. Someone tweeted a Dr Seuss quotation during the Paralympic Closing Ceremony that evening - 'Don't be sad it's over. Be glad it happened.' - and I thought that was a good way to look at it.
Goodbye, Ireland! An enormous thanks to Tom, Sarah, Marian, David, Jenny, Philip, CBI, Bob, Orla, the team of volunteers, and loads more people who made this festival such a wonderful experience.
I feel like sleeping for a week now, and I'm sure the festival team do, too, but wow. That was amazing.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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The winners of the 2012 Ottawa International Animation Festival were announced earlier tonight at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. The top prize for short film went to Dutch filmmaker Hisko Hulsing for his short Junkyard. The animated feature prize went to the Spanish feature Arrugas (Wrinkles) directed by Ignacio Ferreras. It’s Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt picked up the audience prize.
I Am Tom Moody by Ainslie Henderson picked up two awards, including the grand prize for best student animation. Two films in this year’s Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival were also recognized: Kyle Mowat’s Ballpit won best graduate animation and Noam Sussman’s Gum won the Canadian student animation award.
The complete list of winners is below:
Nelvana GRAND PRIZE for Best Independent Short Animation
Junkyard directed by Hisko Hulsing, Netherlands
GRAND PRIZE for Best Animated Feature
Arrugas (Wrinkles) directed by Ignacio Ferreras, Spain
Walt Disney GRAND PRIZE for Best Student Animation
I Am Tom Moody directed by Ainslie Henderson, Edinburgh College of Art, UK
GRAND PRIZE for Best Commissioned Animation
Primus “Lee Van Cleef” by Chris Smith, USA
Best Animation School Showreel
BEST Narrative Short
A Morning Stroll by Grant Orchard, STUDIO AKA, USA
BEST Experimental/Abstract Animation
Rivière au Tonnerre directed by Pierre Hébert, Canada
Adobe Prize for BEST High School Animation
The Bean by Hae Jin Jung, Gyeonggi Art High School, South Korea
La Soif Du Monde (Thirsty Frog) by a Collective: 12 Children, Camera-etc, Belgium
BEST Undergraduate Animation
Reizwäsche by Jelena Walf & Viktor Stickel, Germany
BEST Graduate Animation
Ballpit directed by Kyle Mowat, Sheridan College, Canada
BEST Promotional Animation
Red Bull ‘Music Academy World Tour’ by Pete Candeland, Passion Pictures, UK
BEST Music Video
The First Time I Ran Away by Joel Trussell, USA
BEST Television Animation for Adults
Portlandia: “Zero Rats” by Rob Shaw, USA
BEST Short Animation Made for Children
Beethoven’s Wig directed by Alex Hawley & Denny Silverthorne, Canada
Au Coeur de L’Hiver directed by Isabelle Favez, Switzerland
Why do we Put up with Them? directed by David Chai, USA
BEST Television Animation Made for Children
Regular Show: “Eggscellent” by JC Quintel, Cartoon Network
Adventure Time: “Jake vs. Me-Mow” by Pendleton Ward, Cartoon Network, USA
The National Film Board of Canada PUBLIC PRIZE
It’s Such a Beautiful Day directed by Don Hertzfeldt, USA
Canadian Film Institute Award for BEST Canadian Animation
Nightingales in December directed by Theodore Ushev, Canada
Ballpit directed by Kyle Mowat, Sheridan College, Canada
MacPherson directed by Martine Chartrand, National Film Board of Canada, Canada
BEST Canadian Student Animation Award
Gum by Noam Sussman, Sheridan College, Canadaa
Ballpit by Kyle Mowat, Sheridan College, Canada
Tengri by Alisi Telengut, Concordia University, Canada
The Ottawa Media Jury Award
For the best short competition film, as deemed by the local Ottawa Media, consisting of:
-Peter Simpson (Ottawa Citizen)
-Sandra Abma (CBC)
-Fateema Sayani (Ottawa Magazine)
-Denis Armstrong (Ottawa Sun)
I Am Tom Moody by Ainslie Henderson, Edinburgh College of Art, UK
Every year at this time I find myself jealous of the people in the vicinity of Kitchener-Waterloo in Northern Ontario, Canada. No, not because of the weather, but for The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema. I’m thankful, however, this event is happening anywhere in North America as it’s the only annual festival devoted to “showcasing the latest unreleased international animated feature films”. The festival just announced the first 12 films (several more to be announced shortly) of the 12th edition of the Festival – and it looks like an incredible program with a strong set of productions from Japan and Europe. The films confirmed so far include:
A LETTER TO MOMO • Director: Okiura Hiroyuki (Japan, 2011)
ANIME MIRAI • Directors: Kawamata, Miyashita, Kaiya and Tomonaga (Japan, 2012) A compilation of “four delightful films that point to the future of anime”
ARRUGAS (Wrinkles) • Ignacio Ferreras (Spain, 2011)
ASURA • Director: Sato Keiichi (Japan, 2012)
AZ EMBER TRAGÉDIÁJA • (The Tragedy Of Man) Director Marcell Jankovics (Hungary, 2012)
BABELDOM • Director: Paul Bush (U.K., 2012)
BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK • Director: Shiotani Naoyoshi (Japan, 2012)
HEART STRING MARIONETTE • Director: M Dot Strange (U.S.A. / Iceland, 2012)
JENSEN & JENSEN • Director: Craig Frank (Denmark, 2011)
MARCO MACACO • Director: Jan Rahbek (Denmark, 2012)
STRANGE FRAME • Director: G.B. Hajim (U.S.A., 2012)
WOLF CHILDREN • Director: Hosoda Mamoru (Japan, 2012)
The 12th Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema runs November 15th to 18th, 2012. All screenings will be held at The Chrysalids Theatre, 137 Ontario Street North in Kitchener. For more information on each film and how to obtain festival passes click here.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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The Klik! Animation Festival begins tomorrow in Amsterdam and continues through the weekend.
The quirky animation gathering has grown quickly in its first five years of existence. This year’s Klik! includes a full slate of competition screenings, special screenings ranging William Kentridge to Adventure Time, and a focus on the theme of violence in animation. The latter thematic emphasis is particularly intriguing, with programs related to “cartoon violence,” “serious violence,” and “disturbing violence;” screenings of the features The Suicide Shop and Watership Down; and a half-day symposium on violence with a line-up of speakers that include filmmakers, scholars, and psychologists.
And if all that animation isn’t enough, the festival will take place in the impressively futuristic EYE Film Institute, which opened earlier this year. I visited the waterfront Institute last summer, and it’s a perfectly inspiring space to hold an animation festival.
Below is Klik’s 2012 festival leader, directed by Lukas Krepel, Patrick Schoenmaker, and Joost Lieuwma: