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Animation Block Party 2018: Opening Night (26 July)

The 15th annual NY Brooklyn festival presents its opening night lineup. Animation Block Party will be celebrating its 15th annual animation festival with an opening night...

Inanimate by Lucia Bulgheroni Wins at 2018 Cinefondation Cannes

The puppet film won the third prize at the Cannes festival Cinéfondation competition. The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury headed by Bertrand Bonello and including Khalil...

Flip Book: The Revolutionary Animations of the 21th Century...

Big flipbook exhibition in Seoul (18 May-12 August 2018) at Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul, organized by Bucheon International Animation Festival (BIAF). Flip Book: The...

When Zlatko Bourek's Storyboard Was Exhibited at MOMA

The Croatian animator who died 14 May 2018, and one of the members of the Zagreb School, was part of a storyboard exhibition at MOMA New York in 1968. Giannalberto Bendazzi...

Keynote Speakers of the 3rd Ecstatic Truth Symposium Announced

Susana de Sousa Dias, Joan Fontcuberta, José Miguel Ribeiro will lead the one-day Lisbon symposium (27 June) will explore provocative approaches to the factual through animated...

News

Under The Radar Vienna Symposium, 24-28/5/18

Tomm Moore, Olivier Cotte, József Fülöp, Nikita Diakur, József Fülöp and Olga Bobrowska among the...

Animation Block Party 2018: Opening Night (26...

The 15th annual NY Brooklyn festival presents its opening night lineup. Animation Block Party will...

Flip Book: The Revolutionary Animations of the...

Big flipbook exhibition in Seoul (18 May-12 August 2018) at Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul,...

When Zlatko Bourek's Storyboard Was Exhibited at...

The Croatian animator who died 14 May 2018, and one of the members of the Zagreb School, was part...

Keynote Speakers of the 3rd Ecstatic Truth...

Susana de Sousa Dias, Joan Fontcuberta, José Miguel Ribeiro will lead the one-day Lisbon symposium...

Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles: Trailer

Coming in 2018, the new 2D animation story on one of the greatest film directors, Luis Buñuel....

Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai to Premiere at Cannes

The new film by the director of Summer Wars will screen at the French festival, with a fall 2018...

Another Day of Life by Damian Nenow and Raúl de...

After the critically acclaimed (and Oscar-shortlisted) Paths of Hate, Damian Nenow prepares the...

Captain Morten and the Spider Queen Gets a Trailer

A lot of anticipation surrounds the upcoming stop-motion Estonian feature film, Captain Morten and...

Festivals

Inanimate by Lucia Bulgheroni Wins at 2018...

The puppet film won the third prize at the Cannes festival Cinéfondation competition. The...

Sunao Katabuchi to Head 2018 BIAF Jury

The director of In this Corner of the World will lead the jury of the 2018 Bucheon International...

Manivald, The Breadinner, Lei Lei Win at 2018...

All the awards of the 11th Anifilm Festival in Trebon. The Oscar-nominated The Breadwinner (Nora...

Animafest Zagreb Celebrates Horror

7 programmes of short films, features and exhibitions on horror and animation in the 2018 Croatian...

Bruce Bickford Signs 2018 OIAF Poster

Legendary animator Bruce Bickford prepares this year's Ottawa International Animation festival...

Cat Days, On Happiness Road Win 25th ITFS Awards

Full winners' list for the 25th Stuttgart ITFS festival. The Anniversary Edition of the 25th...

8 Animated Features for Animafest Zagreb 2018

Wes Anderson, Emma De Swaef, Captain Morten and the Spider Queen in the 2018 Zagreb Festival...

ITFS Stuttgart Celebrates Music and Animation

Α spectrum of musical activities during the 25th International Festival of Animated Film...

Anifilm 2018 Celebrates 3D Animation, Czech...

All the highlights of the 11th Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films, 1-6 May Trebon....

Academic CFP

05
Jun
Zagreb, Croatia
Animafest Zagreb invites all interested professionals and scholars to join the Animafest Scanner V 2018 international symposium.

27
Jun
Lisboa, Portugal
Ecstatic Truth is a one-day symposium (27/6/18) that will explore provocative approaches to the factual in Lisbon.

30
Jun
University of Warwick, UK
Call for paper for an interdisciplinary symposium on Animals, Adaptation and Animation at University of Warwick, 10/11/2018.

13
Jul
Esposende, Portugal
The 6th edition of CONFIA, after previous editions in Ofir, Porto, Braga, Barcelos and Guimarães, calls for papers.

14
Aug
Sonoma County, CA
Visual Music Symposium (14-16/8/18, Sonoma County, California) invites call for papers.

04
Oct
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
The Midwest Popular Culture Association/Midwest American Culture Association seeks proposals for papers and panels both on Western animation and on anime.

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REVIEWS

Pixar – Ιmagination Κidnapped

Mr. Kropka delves critically into Pixar’s narrative and aesthetic strategies. Animation is quite commonly seen as nothing more than mere entertainment. On top of that, the idea that animation is...

The Oddsockeaters Review: We Need to Have A Gang Talk

Film review for the Czech animation feature The Oddsockeaters by Galina Miklínová. Based on the Czech writer Pavel Srut ’s bestselling book, Oddsockeaters (Lichožrouti), the book's illustrator and...

Apocalypsis by Eric Leiser: Revelation Is More Serene Than It Sounds

Review for the new experimental animation feature Apocalypsis by US director Eric Leiser. The new independent experimental feature film by CalArts graduate filmmaker Eric Leiser (Glitch in the Grid)...

Farewell to the Rooster: Chinese Animation in the 2017 Season

Olga Bobrowska reviews the most recent achievements of the Chinese animation independent and industry scene. The year 2017 (a year of the Rooster) was symbolic for the Chinese animation. Exactly 50...

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas) Review: Beware of Children in Distress

When Kronenberg met The Fantastic Planet. Film review for the Spanish animation feature Birdboy:The Forgotten Children . It would be easy to categorize Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero 's...

Ethel and Ernest Review: A Love Shelter Below The Rooftops of London

Ethel and Ernest feels unashamedly nostalgic, carefully researched and with a heart. The whole project started as an idea from The Snowman and When the Wind Blows producer John Coates (1927-2012),...

 The 2017 Oscar award race for short animation films has a definite pattern - and cements a recent trend in animation preferences.

It was certainly a situation of bad timing; 3 announcements of major awards/festival coincided the same day. First, the 45 Annie Awards Nominations, which offered an unprecedented record of 10 nominations for Cartoon Saloon's The Breadwinner (dir. Nora Twomey).

Then, the Academy Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced their shortlist of 10 pre-selected films which continue to the next nomination stage, and get their chance at an Oscar (feature animation films don't get a shortlist, but move directly to the nomination phase).

At the same time, the 2018 Sundance animation shorts selection revealed what everybody already had imagined: if there's any justice at all to be done to the animation world outside the world of big animation festivals, all these nominations would need magically to be combined, in order to get a coherent view of what's at stake in contemporary animation production.

Otherwise, one cannot explain the curious Oscar shortlist pattern that has started to appear in recent years -and this irrespectively of the quality of the included films themselves. US student films -this year we have In A Heartbeat by Beth David and Esteban Bravo and Cradle by Devon Manney - compete with both animation veterans, a Pixar / Disney short, and some European shorts which feature children or animal characters. A National Film Board of Canada short usually manages to enter both the shortlist and nominations.

In 2017, Glean Keane with his Dear Basketball takes the place of Richard Williams Prologue last year. NFB, which had a nomination in 2016 with Theo Ushev's Blind Vaysha, did not make it this year. However, Hedgegog's Home by  Eva Cvijanović  (a co-production between NFB and Bonobo Studio) was nominated in the Annies instead (Best Animation Short).

So, it is not really a case for technique of films for children anymore: Oscar shortlists and nominations wish to combine both the old and the new, 3D animation with stop-motion (the fine film, itself a combination of puppet animation, hand-crafted elements and 3D,  Negative Space by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata has managed to capture the hearts of more people than they actually fit in the boy's suitcase); whereas the sly Garden Party by Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon brings memories of Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard transformed to a frog colony -and it works.

Oscars want them all, but they want it in their own way.

Otherwise, the continuous recent scandal of not including films which are outside this circle cannot be explained. Zbig Rybczynski won an Academy Award for his 1980 Tango, but Špela Čadež can't even be nominated for her more narrative-based, David Lynchian excellent parable of alcoholism in Nighthawk (Slovenia/Croatia). Čadež was at the 2017 Sundance festival, and Niki Lindroth von Bahr follows in her festival footsteps with the musical existentialism of The Burden -again the film absent from both Oscars and the Annies.

Annies fare better in the feature department -but no Psiconautas there, whereas Loving Vincent is being nominated in the category it has the most weaknesses: writing.

But it definitely needs to be acknowledged that the independent animation feature category in the Annie Awards has opened up the field for more diversity in the other categories as well.

So perhaps it's the time for the Academy  to do something similar, and introduce at least an independent/ Foreign animation short category (if not feature as well)? Foreign language category in live-action films is haphazard, but still can get some of the finest films of the year. A similar category and selection either by countries or festivals alone could bring similar results. Studio and US films could still be judged as a separate short category by the existing system and Academy branch.

It's true that in this case only one film per country could compete, and there are various logistics and interests involved that could make it equally problematic (who selects, what will be the role of the animation branch etc.) But, letting all difficulties aside,  it will definitely give an additional chance to films that otherwise have no chance to compete in Animation Short  category, as now structured.

Independent animation community may feel that Sundance and animation festivals is indeed the natural habitat for films like Among the Black Waves  (Anna Budanova),  I Like Girls (Diane Obomsawin),  Impossible Figures and Other Stories II (Marta Pajek),  Love (Réka Bucsi), Nothing Happens  (Michelle Kranot, Uri Kranot ) - so who cares about the Oscars, anyway? 

That could indeed be the case, but still  this does not help the visibility of independent animation on the other side of the Atlantic, which also controls most of the marketing tools and weapons to publicize its nominees around the world.  

It is a harsh game around these awards, and perhaps if some of the filmmakers had the budget and the stamina to campaign for their film in the US, it would indeed make a case for a more comprehensive overview of short animation production. The other option, of course, would be to do the staff that the the Oscar-awarded Piper film is made of -but really we need more diversity around here.

Vassilis Kroustallis

Training - Pitching

Animation Goes Transmedia: 5th CARTOON 360

The fifth edition of transmedia pitching event CARTOON 360 moves to Lille, with 24 participating...

Floating, Of Unwanted Things and People, Rabbit...

View all winners of the 6th Visegrad Animation Forum. The sixth edition of Visegrad Animation...

Animation Sans Frontières 2018-19: Call for...

Open call to young animation Artists, Producers, Writers and Technical Directors from the European...

Animated In Poland Pitching Call: 2018 Krakow...

For all Polish produced or co-produced animated film projects, Krakow Film Festival offers a...

(EXCLUSIVE) 6 Feature Projects for Visegrad...

The pitching forum for Central Eastern European Animation extends its mandate to feature animation...

Scholarships for CARTOON 360: Transmedia Projects

CARTOON encourages applications for scholarships to its Cartoon Masters. CARTOON 360 is a new...

170 Participants for Animation Production Day 2018

Animation Production Day 2018 – Conference Programme with top-class experts. The Conference...

Visegrad Animation Forum 2018: Selected Projects

Rastko Ciric, Chintis Lundgren, Péter Vácz and their projects are among the Visegrad Animation...

Animarket Job Fair Trebon: Open For Registration

Deadline 25 March to be part of the new Animarket section, the Anifilm Trebon (Czech Republic) job...

Production

Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles: Trailer

Coming in 2018, the new 2D animation story on one of the greatest film directors, Luis Buñuel....

Another Day of Life by Damian Nenow and Raúl de...

After the critically acclaimed (and Oscar-shortlisted) Paths of Hate, Damian Nenow prepares the...

Captain Morten and the Spider Queen Gets a Trailer

A lot of anticipation surrounds the upcoming stop-motion Estonian feature film, Captain Morten and...

Women In Animation 2018 Summit: Programme Lineup

Dorota Kobiela, Nora Twomey, Fernanda Frick, Eric Beckman among the 2018 Annecy WIA panelists....

Michel Ocelot's Dilili in Paris Opens 2018...

Michel Ocelot's next feature film, Dilili à Paris will be the opening film at the 2018 Annecy...

Production: The Horn Quartet TV Special

The French/Belgian TV special premieres in France, and screens in competition at Annecy Festival....

Un Homme Est Mort: Trailer For the French...

Another political feature comes from Les Armateurs in 2018. Coming from the adaptation from the...

Gordon & Paddy: Swedish Animation Feature at the...

The 2D animation feature competes at the Generation section of this year's Berlin Film Festival....

Michel Ocelot Travels to Belle Epoque Paris:...

Michel Ocelot's next feature film, Dilili à Paris will move to Paris and a signature period for...

INTERVIEWS

Project to Watch: Floating by Jelena Milunovic

it recently won the Best Short Animation project at the Visegrad Animation Forum. Serbian director Jelena Milunovic and producer Milos Ivanovic talk about their Floating film. It's hard to invest...

Each Family Is a Planet: Interview with Alberto Vázquez

Spanish animation director and artist Alberto Vázquez talks about his feature film Birdboy:The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas), and his artistic style and mandate at Zippy Frames. He seems to be...

Building a new Jordan animation from University of Petra: Interview with Tariq Rimawi

Peter Schavemaker interviews Jordan animator and filmmaker Tariq Rimawi. On October 15, the second year of the four year bachelor’s degree program Animation and Multimedia Design - held within the...

The animation in Norway is made in the attic: Interview with Ove Heiborg

Mr. Kropka, an animation afficionado, interviews Ove Heiborg, film producer at Qvisten Animation Studios, Norway. This story might have begun on Monday 4th September at 10 in the morning. It was at...

Women rule at Norwegian Animation Volda Festival

The Norwegian animation festival Animation Volda is being held between September 14-17. This year's theme is Women in Animation. Zippy Frames interviewed Karoline Sundet , one of the four women...

I Love Creating Worlds: Interview with Eva Cvijanović

A very daring hedgehog is waiting for your attention. Interview with Eva Cvijanović , director of the awarded stop-motion short, Hedgehog's Home . The film premiered at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival...

What About the Oscars? Panagiotis Rappas talks to Zippy Frames

Academy Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences voting member Panagiotis Rappas talks to Zippy Frames. When this time of the season arrives, there are always trials and tribulations. Academy Awards are...

70 Years of Malaysian Animation: Interview with Hassan Abd. Muthalib

It's been 70 years of Malaysian animation and Hassan Abd. Muthalib was the man to write a book about. Peter Schavemaker interviewed the animation professional pioneer on his recent book, "From Mouse...

Under Your Fingers (Sous tes doigts): Interview with Marie-Christine Courtès

Oscar-shortlisted French animation short Under your fingers is a poignant and powerful film about a little-known story of a French camp. Director Marie-Christine Courtès talks about history,...

Editor's Picks: Awards

Kara by Sinem Sakaoglu Wins Eurimages...

The Germany/Belgium animation feature co-production won the award at the 2018 edition of CARTOON...

The Night Oscars Got Divorced From...

Some things change, but can also change for the worse. Vassilis Kroustallis reflects on the...

The Discreet Charm of Exclusiveness:...

Olga Bobrowska critically reflects upon the premiere European Animation Awards for Zippy Frames....

Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis, James...

ASIFA-Hollywood announced its Juried Award recipients, which honor career achievement and...

Editor's Picks: Pitching

Project to Watch: Floating by Jelena...

it recently won the Best Short Animation project at the Visegrad Animation Forum. Serbian director...

Floating, Of Unwanted Things and...

View all winners of the 6th Visegrad Animation Forum. The sixth edition of Visegrad Animation...

Report: Animarkt 2017 Stop-Motion...

Paolo Polesello reports from Lodz, and Animarkt stop-motion pitching forum (2-6 October 2017)....

Cordial Networking, Projects to Watch:...

Vassilis Kroustallis reports from Segovia and the ninth edition of 3DWire. Already in its ninth...