Monday, 26 September 2016

The Magnificent Seven
The final Q&A session from last week's Encounters festival is now up on Skwigly, and we're going out on a high with seven animation filmmakers sharing some insight into their work and processes, whose films screened as part of the animation programmes It’s Only Natural, A Look Inside and Art & Design. Listen below to hear from Sean Vicary and Samantha Moore, whose quasi-documentary films The Nose and Loop respectively were both commissioned for the Wellcome Trust. We also have some more abstract work from animation directors Paul McKelvie (Rorschach Kristalle), Francisca Villela (A Better Situation) and David Buob (Me By You). Ruben Leaves director Frederic Siegel also returns to the podcast (having previously appeared in our Skwigly at KLIK! minisode series) and to round things off we have Croatian director Marko Dješka on his film Ghost Town. As always you can direct download, should you so desire.
Many thanks to Kieran Argo and Kellie Hasbury for all of their assistance in getting everything sorted last week, it was a fantastic edition of the festival and I'm keen to share more about it with you all later in the week. If you've not yet caught the previous filmmaker Q&A minisodes then I've put them all together in a handy playlist:

"Chasing the night away..."
It's a double-screening for our lad Klementhro this Friday in Switzerland! Continuing the fabulous Nuit du court métrage tour the film is part of, there will be two simultaneous showings in Yverdon (at the Bel Air cinema) and Sion (at Cinéma Arlequin), both of which kick off at 8pm.
Would that I could be at either myself - as it happens that particular night I will be gleefully seeing Chuck Mosley (or Mosely, depending on which album sleeve you read) in concert as he's had the good manners to come to Bristol and play just down the road from me. Mr. Mosley was the predecessor to Mike Patton as the original vocalist for Faith No More, a band I may have voiced some enthusiasm for once or twice. Although the band found major fame after his tenure they undoubtedly made some amazing music together and I count plenty of the tunes he sang on as amongst my favourites. Also 'Introduce Yourself' was the first Faith No More album chubby li'l me was able to save up enough pocket money to afford and so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
The show is part of his ongoing European tour and proceeds are going to the homeless charity Crisis, so any Bristol folks out there should definitely swing by the Bierkeller this Friday night.
Meanwhile my Encounters/Skwigly Q&A sessions continue today as I meet attending filmmakers whose films screened as part of the animation programme It’s Only Natural - Lissi Muschol (Producer, The Wild Boar), Cartoon d'Or nominee David Dell’Edera (Dir. Balcony), Simon Scheiber (Dir. The Lighthouse) and Tomek Ducki (Dir. Emily King: The Animals).
Listen below or direct download. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Semi-Brief Encounters
It's been a fun first few days at the Encounters festival here in Bristol, and for the second Q&A Skwigly podcast minisode we meet filmmakers whose work screened as part of the animation programmes The Weight of Humanity and Top of the Class. Recent graduates Jennifer Zheng (with her Kingston University film Tough) and Jodie Haslam (with her UWE Bristol School of Animation film The Race) are joined by Ben O’Conner, director of A Terrible Hullabaloo. Then animator Joseph Wallace and Meryn Cobbin of Picasso Pictures discuss their work on the stop motion James music video Dear John, directed by Péter Vácz (you can learn more from Joseph and Peter about the project in my recent feature article on the project). Also we meet Luc Gut (OS Love) and Gábor Osváth, the producer of Réka Bucsi's gorgeous new film Love.
I'll be taking the weekend to break things up a bit, so all being well episode 3 will go up on Monday. In the meantime you can stream episode 2 below or download for later listenin'.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Post Show
As mentioned yesterday, I'm putting together a series of Skwigly Podcast Minisodes for this year's Bristol Encounters festival. Showcasing a diverse range of animation techniques, this year’s official selection is rock solid, combining local and international talent, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to run the audience Q&A sessions after each screening. Recorded after yesterday's evening screening, in this first episode we meet attending filmmakers whose films were included as part of the animation programme Moving Pictures: Zoltán Aprily (Dir. Ungvár), Sara Barbas (Dir. Final Call), Yolanda Barker/Claire Winter (Director/Animator, After I Saw You), Mike Brookes (Dir. The Petard Pinch), Anete Melece (Dir. Analysis Paralysis) and Charlie Miller (Co-director, Player 2)
You can download episode 1 here or stream it below:

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

String Theory
The indefatigable Skwigly Animation Podcast is creeping up to its sixtieth episode, and I'm stoked that in our latest we welcome back LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight, talking about his directorial debut Kubo and the Two Strings. Granted it's only a slightly longer version of the video interview I posted earlier in the month, but frankly I'm shouting from the rooftops about this film as much as I possibly can.
Also in this episode Steve and I mull over why the film doesn't appear to have gotten as many bums on seats as it should have as well as the various approaches a film's marketing campaign can take, in particular comparing the approaches of Disney's Moana and Dreamworks' Trolls. I also unearth a buried memory of an old animation I've never been able to track down for decades, so give it a listen (or a direct download for later) and see if you can help me out.
Some more animationey goodness to look forward to is the newly-launched programme for the second Manchester Animation Festival. As with its inaugural edition I'll be helping out here and there for a few of the events but here's an overall preview of their programme as broadcast live from their Facebook page earlier this evening:
Before then it's the Encounters festival here in Bristol this week. This year as part of Skwigly's media partnership with the event I'm doing a series of post-screening Q&A sessions that will start going up tomorrow. If you're in town be sure to swing by Waterside 1 at The Watershed immediately after each competition screening, roughly 1:30pm and 7:30pm each day until the end of the week.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Floating along
The nomadic Klementhro continues his Swiss travels this weekend as part of the ongoing Nuit du court métrage tour he finds himself on. First stop is Geneva, a city I unexpectedly wound up spending some time in earlier this year when my flight was delayed and I missed my shuttle to Annecy (the full horrorshow was documented in that week's podcast - it turned out to be a luvverly day in the end). Proceedings will kick off at Les Cinémas du Grütli from 8pm on Friday September 23rd.
The following night anyone in or around Delémont may wish to mosey on down to Cinemont and catch the programme there, again beginning at 8pm. Would that I could join old Klem on his travels; at this point he's getting out way more than I am.
That's all I gots for you today, folks. As you were.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Bits and bobs. Mainly bits.
After a warm response to episode one, Laura-Beth and I gleefully soldiering on with our new Skwigly podcast series Intimate Animation. In this episode we discuss the effectiveness of animation in conveying sex-related topics such as Project Consent and work by filmmakers including Sam Morrison and Ruth Lingford.
We also meet talented director Anna Ginsburg whose Random Acts/It's Nice That short film project Private Parts is screening at both Encounters and Ottawa next week. There are some keen insights from Anna that we're really happy to be able to share and on the whole I'm feeling very positive about this new endeavour which, as always, you can stream above or direct download.
As well as what you hear in the podcast segment we also discuss Anna's other work (will put up a written feature going into these soon) and her recent travels. As it turns out, Finland's Turku Animated Film Festival that she just returned from had, unbeknownst to me, included Klementhro in one of its guest programmes Ship Ahoy! that took place on the unfortunately named S/S Bore. As best I can tell this was in association with its screening in the Czech Republic back in April, so much belated thanks to them!
While the film is screening from tomorrow through to Saturday at Ukraine's Linoleum Festival I've also gotten wind that it will be part of South Dakota's SoDak Motion Festival that takes place in late October. Stateside screenings have always been something of a rarity for me so that's very pleasant news indeed. More specifics when I get 'em.

Friday, 9 September 2016


This past Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based industry powerhouse that gave the world Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts and Chicken Run, and that's just barely scratching the surface.
Our team at Skwigly have been paying tribute to the event by writing up some of their own perspectives and personal high-points. Laura-Beth rounds up the studio's own celebratory endeavours as well as picking her top ten shorts; Steve looks back at their various TV series; Wez Allard explores their back catalogue of inventive commercials; Rachel Crook recalls the construction of the Wallace and Gromit theme park ride and Marc Hendry gives some love to the studio's feature films.
For this week's podcast we obviously wanted to pay similar respects, so on top of some fond remembrances of Raymond Briggs (and some overdue Sausage Party bashing) Steve and I wax nostalgic about all things Aardman, digging out interviews with the three studio heads Peter Lord, David Sproxton and, making his Skwigly Animation Podcast debut, Wallace and Gromit creator himself Nick Park! Cracking stuff. Give it a stream or a download, whichever puts more cheese on your cracker.
Also up on the site, Laura-Beth has a nice write-up of the recent Animation Super Grill event whose line-up I was a part of. I also have an interview with Regular Show alum Sean Szeles whose own animated miniseries Long Live the Royals has been showing on Cartoon Network UK this week. Meanwhile I've been pinging all over the place and, midst my travels, got to catch an advance screening of LAIKA's jaw-dropping new film Kubo and the Two Strings as well as meet its director Travis Knight. You can have a watch of our chat in the newest episode of Lightbox below:
Travis previously appeared on Skwigly while promoting The Boxtrolls but this was my first time meeting him. A truly impressive bunch, that LAIKA lot, so I implore you all to see this one in cinemas, you'll be glad you did.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Back in the USSR

I appreciate the title of this blog entry has been geopolitically inaccurate since 1991, but what do you want? I like songs, sue me.
Anyhoo, I'll be the bigger man and choose to look past the confrontational attitude you've come into this post with.
I'm happy to report that Klementhro will make its way back to the Ukraine again following its recent screenings at the Kyiv International Short Film Festival. This time it will be playing as part of the Linoleum International Contemporary Animation and Media-Art Festival which runs from September 15th-18th. My film plays in Competition Programme 2 which'll get four screenings:
  • September 15th: 1:50pm
  • September 16th: 12:00pm and 9:10pm
  • September 17th: 5:30pm
The event takes place at Mala Opera in Kiev. Also screening in competition are some brilliant folks including Uri and Michelle Kranot, Rory Waudby-Tolley, Tomer Eshed, Florian Grolig and Alois di Leo.
That same week the second leg of the Short Film Nights tour will be kicking off, following on from Kurzfilmnacht in the Spring that saw Klementhro floating through Switzerland's various German-speaking cities. For La Nuit du Court Métrage the programme will be touring the French-speaking areas, beginning with a stop in Vevey as part of Images Vevey at the Cinérive, kicking off at 8pm. More dates/times/venues to follow!