The 90th Academy Awards: An­i­mated Shorts Qual­i­fiers

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We all have dif­fer­ent opin­ions on which shorts should make it to the fi­nal Os­car vot­ing round. But, our an­nual dossier of films with qual­i­fy­ing award wins and the­atri­cal re­leases is a great rainy day watch list for an­i­ma­tion lovers of all stripes. Here’s what has made the first hur­dle (so far): Nor­way Di­rec­tor: Rune Spaans; writ­ten & de­signed by Dave Cooper Pro­duced By: Eric Vo­gel and Anne Bergseng; Tor­den­film; sup­port by Chaos Soft­ware, Norsk Filmin­sti­tutt Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Gua­na­ju­ato Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Best An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: A dystopian ro­mance on par with the fall of man, the short fea­tures lush, sen­sual yet warped CG with touch­able tex­tur­ing as it fol­lows Eddy Ta­ble’s doomed wan­der­ing in a dark for­est. There, he meets an en­chant­ing girl…and some dan­ger­ous par­a­sites.­per­ Rus­sia Di­rec­tor: Anna Bu­danova Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­ima (Grand Prix) Syn­op­sis: Ac­cord­ing to an old leg­end from the north, the souls of the drowned trans­form into seals. A hunter steals the skin of one of th­ese myth­i­cal crea­tures, which pre­vents it from tak­ing to the wa­ter. In­stead, it be­comes the hunter’s wife. They live a good life to­gether and have a daugh­ter. But her long­ing for the sea can­not be sa­ti­ated. annabu­danova.tum­ Ger­many Di­rec­tors: Sch­lecht Pro­duced By: Die Kul­turin­ge­nieure Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val (Short Film Jury Award: An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: Two for­mer in­mates re­call their time in Ho­he­neck, the main women’s prison in for­mer East Ger­many, for this an­i­mated doc­u­men­tary. Ex­tracts of orig­i­nal in­ter­view record­ings de­tail­ing po­lit­i­cal sup­pres­sion, forced la­bor and prison prof­i­teer­ing are in­ter­preted in sim­ple yet sur­real im­ages. ka­putt-bro­ken.tum­ Swe­den Di­rec­tor: Niki Lin­droth von Bahr Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­necy Int’l An­i­ma­tion Film Fes­ti­val (Short Cristal) Syn­op­sis: With painstak­ingly crafted stop-mo­tion and pup­petry, a modern mega­mar­ket comes alive in a dark nod to Hol­ly­wood mu­si­cals as the down­trod­den an­i­mal em­ploy­ees turn their bore­dom and anx­i­ety into toe-tap­ping song-and-dance num­bers. www.nikilin­ Ger­many Di­rec­tor: Brenda Lien Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Aspen Shorts­fest (Best Short Short) Syn­op­sis: With dig­i­tal ro­to­scopy with a black out­lined, paint-by-num­bers feel, Lien draws at­ten­tion to modern con­sump­tion and alien­ation: “While we watch the ‘cat fail’ of the day in cheer­ful safety, all that re­mains in­vis­i­ble in this ne­olib­eral night­mare catches up with us.” www.bren­ Canada Di­rec­tor: Steven Woloshen Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Vi­enna In­de­pen­dent Shorts (ASIFA Aus­tria Award/ Best An­i­ma­tion Avant­garde) Syn­op­sis: Strik­ing colors and rhyth­mic en­ergy im­bue a puls­ing, manic vi­tal­ity to this an­i­mated-on-film, dia­logue-free short in which Woloshen seeks to cap­ture the fleet­ing de­tails of ac­tion around a casino as an ode to his late fa­ther, “who gam­bled with love.” scratchato­pia.tum­ Mex­ico Di­rec­tor: Sofía Carrillo Pro­duced By: Nahuy­aca Films, Inst. Mex­i­cano de Cine­matografía; Paola Chau­rand Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Guadala­jara Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Best Mex­i­can An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: A haunt­ing, gritty-pretty stop- mo­tion story which dredges up the ghosts of the past as Ceru­lia takes a trip to say a fi­nal good­bye to her child­hood home, but is un­able to ex­tri­cate her­self from the grip of her mem­o­ries…and her grand­par­ents’ pres­ence. www.nahuy­a­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Nicholas Ari­oli Pro­duced By: Jen­nifer Dahlman, Jes­sica Sit­tig, Serkan Piantino, An­drew Bos­worth Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Rhode Is­land Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Grand Prize, An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: A CG tale span­ning 70 years of one naive ex­plorer’s life, as we he works to earn enough money to take a coin-op rocket ship ride to outer space. (Read more on page 34.) Italy Di­rec­tor: Nico Bonomolo Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Santa Bar­bara Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Bruce Cor­win Award/An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: Set in fas­cist Si­cily, a shadow pup­pet per­former is con­fined to a lonely is­land with a light­house for mak­ing fun of Mus­solini—un­til he’s re­deemed and res­cued by a for­tu­itous event. Bonomolo ren­ders this timely tale in black and white 2D with hints of sto­ry­book il­lus­tra­tion and ro­to­scopy. www.nicobonomo­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Devon Man­ney Pro­duced By: Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Stu­dent Academy Award (Sil­ver: An­i­ma­tion, Do­mes­tic) Syn­op­sis: Re­turn­ing to the U.S.A. after los­ing both arms over­seas, a young veteran bat­tles phan­tom pains, pros­thet­ics, and mem­o­ries of his pre-war life while reach­ing for a sense of nor­malcy. A hint of chil­dren’s book il­lus­tra­tion and a dig­i­tal chalk pas­tels coun­ter­bal­ance the weight of the story. de­von­man­ Aus­tria Di­rec­tor: Robert Cam­bri­nus Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­i­ma­tor Fes­ti­val (Grand Prix/Golden Pe­ga­sus) Syn­op­sis: An en­er­get­i­cally ridicu­lous, hu-

mo­rous and cut­tingly ap­pro­pri­ate cel­e­bra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of the DADA “anti-art” move­ment and its legacy. The present leaves traces in the past! www.six­pack­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Glen Keane Pro­duced By: Gen­nie Rim, Glen Keane Prod.; exec. Pro­duced by Kobe Bryant Qual­i­fy­ing Re­lease: June (L.A.) Syn­op­sis: Sport leg­end Kobe Bryant’s in­spir­ing re­tire­ment poem is drawn to life by veteran an­i­ma­tor Keane and swelled by stir­ring mu­sic from Os­car-win­ning com­poser John Wil­liams. Ar­guably the short with the most star-power this year, and a fine ex­am­ple of the craft that strikes an emo­tional chord. www.kobe­ Spain/ France Di­rec­tor: Al­berto Vázquez Pro­duced By: Uniko and Au­tour de Mi­nuit, in as­soc. with Alt Con­tent, Abano Prod. and Mo­vis­tar+ Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Goya Award (Best An­i­mated Short Film) Syn­op­sis: An ironic black comedy ren- dered in black and white 2D. The story takes the folk fa­ble/an­i­ma­tion trope of an­thro­po­mor­phized an­i­mals and drowns them in all-too-hu­man ex­is­ten­tial crises. (Read more on page 32.) www.dec­o­ra­doshort­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Young Gul (Kirsten) Cho Pro­duced By: School of Vis­ual Arts Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Stu­dent Academy Award (Bronze: An­i­ma­tion, Do­mes­tic) Syn­op­sis: Cho’s short ex­trap­o­lates man’s de­pen­dence on tech­nol­ogy into the fu­ture: Is it pos­si­ble that ma­chines will usurp our bi­o­log­i­cal im­per­a­tive to re­pro­duce? Slick CG cre­ates a fac­tory where ro­bots cre­ate and de­liver cus­tom­ized ba­bies—a no­tion in turns ridicu­lous and scary. www.kirs­ten­ France Di­rec­tors: Flo­rian Babikian, Vin­cent Bay­oux, Vic­tor Caire, Theophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grap­peron & Lu­cas Na Pro­duced By: MOPA - L’École de la 3D Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Nashville Film Fes­ti­val (An­i­mated Shorts Grand Jury Prize) Syn­op­sis: Brought to life with im­pec­ca­ble CG an­i­ma­tion, the short fol­lows a cou­ple of ad­ven­tur­ous am­phib­ians ex­plor­ing a de­serted manor house. The courtship of Frog and Toad milks an im­pres­sive amount of char­ac­ter­i­za­tion out of the film’s pho­to­re­al­is­tic aes­thet­ics. www.gar­den­ Canada/ France Di­rec­tor: Franck Dion Pro­duced by: Richard Van Den Boom, Julie Roy; PAPY3D Prod., NFB Qual­i­fy­ing Wins: LA Shorts Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Best An­i­ma­tion); Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest (Best An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: Jacque­line isn’t quite in her right mind any­more, but she’s de­ter­mined to take the train to the sea­side, as she does ev­ery sum­mer. Only this year, she’s con­stantly be­ing fol­lowed by some woman who claims to be her daugh­ter, and the trip takes some un­ex­pected, phan­tas­magor­i­cal turns. the­head­van­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: José Luis González Pro­duced By: Dano John­son Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Cinequest Film Fes­ti­val (Best An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: Mex­i­can-born car­toon­ist González crafts a comix graphic vibe for this story about an in­tel­li­gent, rest­less teen stuck in a small West Texas town. The larger nar­ra­tive about Es­ter and her fam­ily serves as a lens onto how the girl’s vivid imag­i­na­tion can over­run the most mun­dane ac­tiv­i­ties. U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Re­nee Zhan Qual­i­fy­ing Win: SlamDance Film Fes­ti­val (An­i­mated Shorts Grand Jury Prize) Syn­op­sis: Har­vard an­i­ma­tion grad Zhan’s the­sis film dis­arms with black and white, Fleis­cher-es­que phys­i­cal comedy be­fore cut­ting to the emo­tional core as we watch a large bird and a small boy trapped in un­happy co­hab­i­ta­tion/code­pen­dency. Wa­ter­color/dig­i­tal 2D makes lim­ited, strik­ing use of color in the char­ac­ters’ bleak world.­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Matt Reynolds Pro­duced By: Cal­i­for­nia Inst. of the Arts Qual­i­fy­ing Wins: Florida Film Fes­ti­val (Grand Jury Award/An­i­mated Short); San Fran­cisco Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Best An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: A sur­real gem in the vein of twisted ‘90s art­house an­i­ma­tion with a de­cep­tively sim­ple (and bizarre) fo­cus: A young lady whose hands just won’t stop grow­ing new fin­gers. www.mat­treynold­ Poland Di­rec­tor: Marta Pa­jek Pro­duced By: Piotr Szczepanow­icz, Grze­gorz Wa­clawek; An­i­moon, Pol­ish Film In­sti­tute Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Stuttgart Fes­ti­val of An­i­mated Film (Grand Prix - In­ter­na­tional) Syn­op­sis: Strik­ing lin­eart and min­i­mal smudges of color com­ple­ment the cin­e­matic form of the nar­ra­tive, which con­tin­ues Pa­jek’s trip­tych on wom­ankind’s search for per­fec­tion and ful­fill­ment. II cen­ters on a woman who stum­bles in her daily rush, and rises to find her house is un­ex­pect­edly built U.S.A. Di­rec­tors: Es­te­ban Bravo & Beth David Pro­duced By: Rin­gling Col­lege of Art and De­sign Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Stu­dent Academy Award (Gold: An­i­ma­tion, Do­mes­tic) Syn­op­sis: A shy red­headed boy goes on a wild chase when he loses con­trol of his heart and it leaps out of his chest to fol­low his dreamy crush. A vi­ral smash-hit upon its YouTube re­lease, the short uses bub­blegum-bright CG for its all-ages, re­lat­able story about first love with a pos­i­tive LGBTQ mes­sage. in­a­heart­beat-film.tum­ Switzer­land Di­rec­tor: Fabio Friedli Pro­duced By: YK An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio, SRF Swiss Ra­dio & Tele­vi­sion; Ra­mon Schoch, Lukas Pul­ver Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­i­mated Film) Syn­op­sis: Strik­ing ob­ject- and food-fu­eled stop-mo­tion tries to cap­ture “the world in a nut­shell”—from a seed to war, from meat to love, from in­dif­fer­ence to apoc­a­lypse. yk-an­i­ma­ Ire­land Di­rec­tor: Rory Byrne Pro­duced By: Ciarán Deeney; Ir­ish Film Board, RTÉ, Broad­cast Author­ity of Ire­land, sup­port by IFB’s Frame­works Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Gal­way Film Fleadh (James Hor­gan Award/ Best An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: From the writer for Alan Holly’s multi-award-win­ning Coda, the film echoes in­die graphic novel art sen­si­bil­i­ties as it fol­lows a soli­tary man who sets out to con­quer an iso­lated is­land www.andmap­sand­ | www. ro­ry­

China Di­rec­tor: Chenglin Xie Pro­duced By: China Cen­tral Academy of Fine Arts Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Stu­dent Academy Award (Gold: An­i­ma­tion, In­ter­na­tional) Syn­op­sis: It’s the re­venge of the smart­phone zom­bies in this darkly comic, re­fresh­ingly car­toon-y short. The char­ac­ters’ ut­ter di­vorce from re­al­ity in their quest to stay con­nected is high­lighted by blank tex­tured back­grounds filled only by the ob­jects and peo­ple in their im­me­di­ate bub­ble.­96 Aus­tralia Di­rec­tor: Daniel Agdag Pro­duced By: Liz Kearney; sup­ported by Screen Aus­tralia Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Syd­ney Film Fes­ti­val (Yo­ram Gross An­i­ma­tion Award) Syn­op­sis: Agdag’s metic­u­lously hand­crafted card­board world re­volves around a thor­ough and prac­ti­cal man named Ed who man­ages the Lost Prop­erty Of­fice. When Ed re­al­izes he’s been made re­dun­dant, he de­cides to re-ap­pro­pri­ate his cher­ished lost ob­jects and bid his base­ment post a whim­si­cal farewell. lost­prop­er­ty­of­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Dave Mullins Pro­duced By: Dana Mur­ray; Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios Qual­i­fy­ing Re­lease: Syn­op­sis: Lou is a col­laged crea­ture made up of un­claimed items in a school’s Lost and Found box who col­lects left-be­hind ob­jects after re­cess each day. When a bully starts tak­ing other kids’ toys, Lou gives chase—but soon hits on a kinder so­lu­tion. Hun­gary/ France Di­rec­tor: Réka Bucsi Pro­duced By: Pas­sion Paris, Bod­dah Qual­i­fy­ing Win: RiverRun Int’l Film Festi- val (Best An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: Win­ning praise for its artis­tic style, strong vis­ual sto­ry­telling and sharp hu­mor, this puls­ing, evolv­ing short de­scribes af­fec­tion and con­nec­tion in three dif­fer­ent chap­ters. It all be­gins with an in­ter­stel­lar im­pact that kicks things off for one dis­tant planet. rek­abucsi.tum­ U.K. Di­rec­tor: Anushka Kis­hani Naanayakka­ra Pro­duced By: Na­tional Film and Tele­vi­sion School; Khaled Gad Qual­i­fy­ing Win: BAFTA Award (Short An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: An en­gross­ing stop-mo­tion col­lage of mixed ma­te­ri­als, this in­ven­tive grad­u­ate project uses ex­per­i­men­tal vi­su­als and tech­niques to show that when two hearts beat as one, there’s a chance those two lives will come un­rav­eled. www.nushy­ Swe­den Di­rec­tor: Joanna Ry­tel Pro­duced By: Al­berto Her­skovits; Dock­hus AB, funded by Swedish Film In­sti­tute, Film i Väst, Swedish Arts Grants Com­mit­tee Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Go Short Award (An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: This fes­ti­val fa­vorite stretches the cul­tural stan­dards of “good” moth­er­hood, as it cen­ters on a woman whose sex­ual needs are be­yond both her reach and her bor­ing boyfriend’s—she also hap­pens to be heav­ily preg­nant. The short fea­tures pup­pets and scenery crafted by Tim Maarse.­ U.K. Di­rec­tor: Rory Waudby-Tol­ley Pro­duced By: Royal Col­lege of Art Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Flick­erFest (Yo­ram Gross Award/ Int’l Short An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: This color­ful mind-trip of a grad­u­ate film uses record­ings of the film­maker talk­ing to a self-de­scribed “spir­i­tual healer” about the in­ner mind, the fab­ric of the uni­verse and the na­ture of re­al­ity as a jump­ing-off point for vi­gnettes in a va­ri­ety of toon tech­niques. ro­ Canada Di­rec­tor: Shel­don Co­hen Pro­duced By: NFB; Je­lena Popovic, Marcy Page Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Cleve­land Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Best An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: Mon­treal film­maker Co­hen turns his whim­si­cal artis­tic sense and comedic sen­si­bil­i­ties to Canada’s heart dis­ease prob­lem by ex­plor­ing his own trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence: un­der­go­ing in­va­sive, open-heart surgery to save his life. France Di­rec­tors: Ru Kuwa­hata & Max Porter Pro­duced By: Ed­wina Liard, Nidia San­ti­ago; co-pro­duced by Jean-Louis Padis Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­ima Mundi (Grand Prix) Syn­op­sis: “My dad taught me how to pack” is the nar­ra­tive an­chor of this richly de­tailed, med­i­ta­tive blend of stop-mo­tion and CG an­i­ma­tion, adapted from Ron Ko­ertge’s orig­i­nal poem. ikki­ Slove­nia Di­rec­tor: Špela adež Pro­duced By: Finta Film, Ra­dio-Tele­vi­sion of Slove­nia, Bono­bostu­dio Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­i­mafest Za­greb (Grand Prix) Syn­op­sis: At­tempt­ing to re­move an un­re­spon­sive badger from a dark road, a po­lice of­fi­cer soon re­al­izes that the an­i­mal is not dead, but rather dead drunk. Highly tex­tured mul­ti­plane an­i­ma­tion is com­ple- mented by par­al­lel sto­ries and dif­fer­ent per­cep­tions in this en­gag­ing an­i­mal drama. Den­mark Di­rec­tors: Michelle & Uri Kra­not Pro­duced By: Marie Bro, Dansk Teg­ne­film; Em­manuel-Alan Ray­nal, Miyu Prod. (France) Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Odense Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Børge Ring Award/An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: This win­try VR ex­pe­ri­ence ex­plores spec­ta­tor­ship, bring­ing the viewer into the midst of a gath­ered crowd ex­pect­ing…some­thing. The tech­nique of paint­ing over footage com­bined with im­mer­sive 2D an­i­ma­tion help cre­ate an uneasy, dream­like sense as the ob­server re­al­izes they have be­come the ob­served. noth­ing­hap­pens.tin­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tors: Kevin Deters & Ste­vie Wer­m­ers Pro­duced By: Roy Conli; Walt Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios Qual­i­fy­ing Re­lease: Syn­op­sis: As the win­ter hol­i­days draw near in the king­dom of Aren­delle, Olaf the snow­man and Sven the rein­deer em­bark on an epic ad­ven­ture to find the per­fect hol­i­day tra­di­tion to help royal sis­ters Elsa and Anna cel­e­brate. (Read more on page 28.) www.dis­neyan­i­ma­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Xia Li Pro­duced By: USC Cin­e­matic Arts Qual­i­fy­ing Win: At­lanta Film Fes­ti­val (An­i­mated Short Jury Award) Syn­op­sis: Comic-book in­flu­enced 2D laced with CG el­e­ments lends a nos­tal­gic feel to a dra­matic story about a school­boy who dreams of be­ing a su­per­hero, and must make a cru­cial choice when a class­mate is cru­elly bul­lied.

U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky Pro­duced By: Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion Qual­i­fy­ing Re­lease: July 28, with The Syn­op­sis: A sneak peek at the third in­stall­ment in Tar­takovsky’s hit Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia film fran­chise, the short is full of ca­nine chaos when Drac­ula brings home a mon­ster­sized pet for his grand­son, Den­nis. www.sonypic­ture­san­i­ma­ Poland Di­rec­tor: Re­nata Ga­siorowska Pro­duced By: Marcin Malatyn­ski; Lodz Film School Qual­i­fy­ing Win: (Grand Jury Prize/An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: Min­i­mal­ist dig­i­tal 2D sets up this not-for-kids short about a young woman whose plans for an erotic evening at home alone don’t work out the way she en­vi­sions. Touched with sur­re­al­ism and hu­mor, this warmly re­ceived stu­dent ef­fort makes Ga­siorowska an artist to watch. fr­ Ja­pan Di­rec­tor: Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Ann Ar­bor Film Fes­ti­val (Chris Frayne Award/ Best An­i­mated Film) Syn­op­sis: Car­ry­ing the viewer in an ac­cel­er­a­tion to­ward dis­tor­tion, this dia­logue-free film ex­per­i­ments with the ef­fect of a static train pas­sen­ger against the con­tin­ual move­ment of the scenery that sur­rounds him. www.shun­ Canada Di­rec­tors: Carol Beecher & Kevin D.A. Kury­t­nik Pro­duced By: Na­tional Film Board of Canada Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Cal­gary Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Best Over­all Short) Syn­op­sis: Lauded as a “vis­ually stun­ning dark al­le­gory of greed and spir­i­tual reck­on­ing,” the bru­tal­ity of the 19th cen­tury fur trade and its im­pact on the ecol­ogy and power dy­nam­ics of Canada laces nods to Melville and Co­leridge through­out its im­pact­ful artis­tic melange. Ger­many Di­rec­tor: Kariem Saleh Pro­duced By: Alexan­dra Staut­meis­ter; Fil­makademie Baden-Würt­tem­burg Qual­i­fy­ing Win: SIGGRAPH Com­puter An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val (Best in Show) Syn­op­sis: This am­bi­tious stu­dent project, which took three years to com­plete, is a parable about not si­lenc­ing one’s in­ner child, cen­tered on a man with a toad on his head seek­ing psy­chi­atric help. The team cre­ated a first-of-its-kind sys­tem for cap­tur­ing glove pup­petry per­for­mance for the short. www.kariem­ Poland Di­rec­tor: Pro­duced By: To­masz Wolf; Warsz­tat Fil­mowy Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Krakow Film Fes­ti­val (Sil­ver Dragon/An­i­mated Film) Syn­op­sis: A hand-painted stream of con­scious­ness short takes view­ers on a sur­real jour­ney through the pro­tag­o­nist’s life, trav­el­ling from one mile­post to the next. From per­sonal loves and trau­mas to his­tor­i­cal events and daily monotony, the short is an at­tempt to glimpse the an­swer to “why are we here?” through a kalei­do­scope of mem­ory. zbig­ Ger­many Di­rec­tor: Nikita Di­akur Qual­i­fy­ing Wins: En­coun­ters Short Film & An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val (An­i­mated En­coun­ters Grand Prix); Ot­tawa Int’l An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val (Nel­vana Grand Prize for Ind’t Short) Syn­op­sis: A “bro­ken film” that em­braces flawed com­puter sim­u­lated pup­pet an­i­ma­tion to tell the story of Red­bear, a Na­tive Amer­i­can Chief, and a shunned tom­cat named Ugly who team up to re­store spir­i­tual bal­ance to the a world. (Read more on page 30.) U.K. Di­rec­tor: Nico­las Mé­nard Pro­duced By: Nexus Stu­dios; com­mis­sioned by Chan­nel 4 for Ran­dom Acts Qual­i­fy­ing Win: South By South­west (An­i­mated Shorts Jury Award) Syn­op­sis: Part of a Late Night Work Club an­thol­ogy, fine art pen­cil draw­ings (by Man­shen Lo) and MS Paint-ish dig­i­tal 2D con­trast in the sur­real story of Eu­gene, an in­tro­spec­tive man whose quest for spir­i­tual en­light­en­ment leads to ro­mance and de­spair.­las­me­ Switzer­land Di­rec­tor: Remo Scher­rer Pro­duced By: Zeitraum Film, Hochschule Luzern, Swiss Ra­dio & Tele­vi­sion, SRG SSR; Carola Kutzner Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Athens Int’l Film and Video Fes­ti­val (An­i­ma­tion) Syn­op­sis: Starkly beau­ti­ful black and white draw­ings, em­pha­siz­ing neg­a­tive space, il­lus­trate Wally’s mem­o­ries of a child­hood in­creas­ingly turned up­side down by her mother’s al­co­holism, as the con­fused eight-year old strug­gles to keep both her own life and that of her fam­ily in or­der. www.bei­win­dundwet­ Nor­way Di­rec­tor: Trine Val­le­vik Håb­jørg Pro­duced By: Råsalt As Qual­i­fy­ing Win: New York Int’l Chil­dren’s Film Fes­ti­val (Best An­i­mated Short) Syn­op­sis: Con­ver­sa­tions with five chil­dren from Ivory Coast about their mem­o­ries, ex­pe­ri­ences, dreams for the fu­ture, and what it’s like to live in their refugee camp in Liberia are dis­bur­dened with bright colors and play­ful lines in this multi-award win­ner. France/Turkey Di­rec­tor: Ayce Kar­tal Pro­duced By: Les Valseurs, Damien Megherbi Qual­i­fy­ing Win: An­necy Int’l An­i­ma­tion Film Fes­ti­val (Jury Award) Syn­op­sis: The hand-drawn tale ceneters on “S.”—an 8-year-old Turk­ish girl who uses her strong imag­i­na­tion to re­flect on happy mem­o­ries from her grand­par­ents’ vil­lage as she rests in hos­pi­tal…but some dark and ter­ri­fy­ing rec­ol­lec­tions also emerge. lesvalseur­ U.S.A. Di­rec­tor: Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Ann Ar­bor Film Fes­ti­val (Ken Burns Award/ Best of the Fes­ti­val) Syn­op­sis: The dizzy­ing vi­brancy of Levo­nian’s hand-painted cut-out an­i­ma­tion im­merses view­ers in the charm­ing chaos that un­folds when a woman im­pul­sively steals a goat from a pet­ting zoo, turn­ing her morn­ing rou­tine into a mad­cap romp through the neigh­bor­hood. www.jen­nifer­levo­ France Di­rec­tor: Cé­line De­vaux Pro­duced By: Ron Dyens; Sacre­bleu Pro­duc­tions Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Venice Int’l Film Fes­ti­val (Oriz­zonti Award/ Best Short Film) Syn­op­sis: De­vaux, who qual­i­fied last year with Sun­day Lunch, ven­tures into live-ac­tion hy­brid film­mak­ing with this slice-of-life rec­ol­lec­tion of Jean, who drinks too much on his birth­day and is re­minded of the dis­as­trous week­end that led to his breakup with Mathilde.­linede­vaux

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