Sunday, 12 November 2017

MAFward Bound
I'll be back at the Manchester Animation Festival this coming week to fly the ol' Skwigly flag. If you're in town on Wednesday we'll be doing another one of our maddening (though splendid fun) Skwigly Quiz sessions, so festival passholders be sure to get yourselves to the the Event Space at HOME for 5pm.
The next day (Thursday 16th) at 4:10pm festival passholders can check out the Skwigly Screening, a totes-free collection of some of the best films we've encountered over the past year. This'll also be in the Event Space and the full list of films included is as follows:
A lot of these films have recent Skwigly interviews attached, so you can learn more about them by clicking on any of the active links above.
Catch you there!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Leaves of Autumn
Another batch of joint outings for Boris-Noris and Klementhro ahead, this time at the Cinemagic Festival in Belfast. In all candour my brain is still a bit fried and jetlagged from the honeymoon so I'm not 100% sure I get how this one works but I think Animated Antics is essentially a programme that tours schools throughout the city between October 16th and November 17th. Boris-Noris is part of the primary school competition with Klementhro included in the 15+ shorts showcase that kicks off a little later (October 23rd). As far as specifics go you can keep up to speed at the festival's official site and Facebook page.
Speaking of Ireland, which we sort-of, tenuously were, I'll be headed to the seventh edition of the Dublin Animation Film Festival at the end of next week as part of the Student Film Jury team, so if you're in the city October 20th and 21st that'll be a fun one to check out too. See you there, possibly maybe!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

In Russia, raft paddles YOU
Following last month's Russian tour it seems the nation can't get enough of our paddlin' pal Klementhro. This month and November will see it play in Moscow for the Big Cartoon Festival, a big festival of cartoons I would assume, or very possibly an average-sized festival of big cartoons. Probably the former as my cartoon is not especially big. The screenings will kick off on my birthday (which also just happens to be International Animation Day - coincidence? Well, yes). Full info as follows:
The film will also screen as part of a mini-tour through Saint-Petersburg, Kazan and Ekaterinburg after the festival but I don't have all the specifics for those screenings just yet. So hang tight, comrades.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Naughty little rock-faced children, scampering around
Just got wind of some good news that one of the episodes of Lendas Animadas I was lead animator on is presently a finalist for the Japan Prize International Contest for Educational Media. I'm not sure what happens if it wins but the event's Facebook page has put up the first (to my knowledge) clip from the episode which you can check out below:
As you've probably deduced, the animation is taken from collages and drawings by schoolchildren across Brazil that have been made animatable. I was working to storyboards by the project's Art Director Adriana with only a vague idea of what the narrator guy was saying, so it's kind of a new experience to actually see this with subtitles. This is also the same episode that screened at Anima Mundi back in July - Como Surgiram as Estrelas (How the Stars Were Created) - and I'm chuffed to say it was picked as one of the 10 best Brazilian films at that festival, making it eligible for a BNDES Award. It didn't win though. So, y'know, fingers crossed for this other thing.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Stag Podcast
In episode 73 of the Skwigly Animation Podcast - the last episode I will produce as an unmarried man, no less - we welcome Ireland-born, Vancouver-based visual artist Eoin Duffy, director of the National Film Board of Canada short I Am Here.
Having studied Visual Communication at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Eoin’s background in graphic design ultimately led to motion graphics and animation, notable works including his debut 2012 short On Departure with 2014’s The Missing Scarf shortlisted for Best Animated Short at the 86th Academy Awards and nominated for Best Short Film at the 27th European Film Awards.
Produced by Shirley Vercruysse and Maral Mohammadian of the NFB and Executive Produced by Michael Fukushima, the film will screen in competition at this year’s Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival in Bristol as part of the screening Animation 1: Packing A Punch (the same screening will feature Laura-Beth's film Boris-Noris - so be there, god-damn you)
Also discussed in this episode: Aardman‘s first full Early Man trailer, the latest Bertram Fiddle outing from Rumpus Animation and intriguing new goings-on with stop-motion nightmare master Robert Morgan. Stream below or direct download:

Monday, 28 August 2017

Up The River
Our seafarin' scamp Klementhro still has a few festivals left on his journey it seems. Rather fittingly this September the film will be included in the KROK International Animated Films Festival that takes place on a Russian river cruiser. From September 13th through to the 21st the festival will be making its way through Moscow, Uglich, Goritsy, Petrozavodsk, Mandrogi, Valaam Island and Saint Petersburg. I already have a fondness for this festival as back in 2011 they included The Naughty List and it's always a nice feeling to have new work presented at a familiar event. If you happen to be in that nook of the world it looks like a rather fun way to spend a week so check out their Facebook page for more info as it comes.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Island Life
I mentioned last week that Laura-Beth's film Boris-Noris would be playing in Malta at the first Gozo Film Festival. I neglected - neglectful fellow that I am - to mention that Klementhro will also be screening, in the same programme as it turns out. So if you're happen to be Malta-ing it up this weekend you can catch them on Saturday 26th in the Short Movies 1 screening. Also a shout-out to our pal Fiona whose film Blanked will also get a screening the following day in Short Movies 3. Both screenings will be at the Sentinella Cultural Centre and you can check out the full programme at the festival website here.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

World Traveller

I'm incredibly stoked to be able to say that Laura-Beth Cowley's film Boris-Noris (for which I did some noise-making and general post-production) is on fire at the moment. Since screening at CIFF back in May it's been shown in Spain, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, with a whole bunch more to follow in the coming months:
First up is Stop Motion MX that takes place August 17th-19th down Mexico way, where the film is part of the Student category. As far as exactly when the screening is I found the programme to be kind of impenetrable, although native speakers may have better joy than my uncultured ass.
Over on the island of Malta you can see it at the first Gozo Film Festival. Exact screening times and programme categories don't appear to be up yet but it will be running from August 25th-27th at the Sentinella Cultural Centre and St. John's Demi-Bastion.
From August 26th it's in Paris at Festival Silhouette in the Young Audiences (4-6 years) category that has a bunch of (what I'm pretty sure are free) screenings:
Saturday August 26th - 11am at Le Hasard Ludique
Saturday August 26th - 4pm at Holiday Inn Express
Sunday August 27th - 11:30am at Espace Khiasma
Sunday August 27th - 2:30pm at Holiday Inn Express
Saturday September 2nd - 4pm at Holiday Inn Express
On Monday September 4th at 8pm the film will be screened at The Smalls Film Festival in their Student Film category. This one's here in the UK at London's Calvert 22, nestled 'twixt Shoreditch and Bethnal Green.
Earlier that same evening and even closer to home - on our doorstep, pretty much - is the Bristol Festival of Puppetry, who are putting on a special Women in Puppetry and Puppet Animation screening, celebrating 'the talent of female directors, animators, puppeteers and other filmmaking creatives, in front and behind the camera'. You can catch this one at The Watershed in Bristol at 6pm September 4th.
Next stop is Stop Motion Montreal, one of our absolute wishlist festivals what with Montreal being my sometime-stomping-grounds and its long-established reputation as one of the best stop-mo events around. It takes place September 15th-17th - literally the weekend of our wedding, so alas we can't attend in person. I think she genuinely contemplated calling it off when she found out. The main festival venue is Concordia's J.A. de Sève Cinema, with specific dates/times to be revealed soon.
Another wish-list fest we're pleased to be ticking off is Bristol's long-running Encounters Short Film Festival, whose main hub of operations is once again The Watershed. Boris-Noris will see itself screening in the first animation programme Packing A Punch at 12noon on Wednesday September 20th as well as repeat screening of the Bristol Festival of Puppetry selection at a time yet to be announced. This one we will be there for, in fact I'll also be there in my usual Skwigly capacity so if you're one of the animated filmmakers also in the programme who'll be there also then there's a good chance I'll be interviewing you at some point the week.
Lastly (for now), there's the Linoleum International Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival that runs from September 28th to October 1st in the Ukraine. This one I already hold in high regard for throwing in Klementhro last year. Again more specifics when we get 'em.
There are more a-comin' but I think that's all I'm able to announce right now. So check it out if it's playing near you, it's a cracking fillum (he said with complete impartiality).

How about a little music?
Following on from our end-of-year special back in December, I've launched a new Skwigly podcast series Animation Composed, a celebration of the harmonious relationship between music and animation.
In our first episode co-host Wez and I explore the musical side of some favourite animated shorts, including Le Clitoris (Dir. Lori Malépart-Traversy), Lonely Bones (Dir. Rosto) and Analysis Paralysis (Dir. Anete Melece) among others.
We also meet Paris-based composer  Mathieu Alvado, whose work spans over 50 short films including the recent animated projects To Build A Fire (Dir. FX Goby, Nexus) and The Inspector and the Umbrella (Dir. Maël Gourmelen). Having studied at the Bordeaux Conservatory, the Saint Maur des Fossés Conservatory and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Mathieu has received three Jerry Goldsmith awards and collaborated with numerous ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Paris Symphonic Orchestra.
Full playlist:
  • Overture (To Build A Fire) – Mathieu Alvado
  • Anton im Kaufhaus (Analysis Paralysis) – Ephrem Leuchinger
  • Theme from Boris-Noris – Ben Mitchell
  • Une bonne petite souris (Quenottes/Pearlies) – Mathieu Alvado
  • Building A Fire (To Build A Fire) – Mathieu Alvado
  • Clitoris Magnificus (Le Clitoris) – Eliazer Kramer
  • Lonely Bones – Thee Wreckers
  • Wings and Oars – Pierre Yves Drapeau
  • End Credits (The Kiosk) – Ephrem Leuchinger
  • The Inspector and the Umbrella – Mathieu Alvado
  • New Fire (To Build A Fire) – Mathieu Alvado
  • End Credits (To Build A Fire) – Mathieu Alvado
  • Reprise (The Inspector and the Umbrella) – Mathieu Alvado

Friday, 28 July 2017

I hear tell the narrator guy is something of a telenovela heartthrob over there

With a couple of screenings left for Lendas Animadas this weekend for the São Paulo leg of Anima Mundi here's a first look at the series posted on their newly-launched Facebook page:
It's great to hear things are moving forward and there should be a broadcast date before too long. Be sure to like and follow the page. Maybe brush up on your Portuguese a bit also.