Friday, 9 November 2018

November News Dump

https://soundcloud.com/skwigly/sets/skwigly-at-klik-2018
This week on Skwigly our tradition of bringing our lovely listenership a taste of the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival has continued, with another batch of podcast minisodes released featuring all of this year's filmmaker Q'n'A sessions. This time around the interviews are hosted by Anna Eijsbouts, who herself was featured as one of the directors in our recent Cardiff Animation Festival minisode series earlier this year with her film Hate For Sale. These chats span a huge gamut of perspectives and insights into student, indie and professional filmmaking so definitely give them some of your time. You can listen to the full set of minisodes below:
Speaking of festivals, don't forget that next week is the fourth edition of the Manchester Animation Festival, fast becoming one of the industry's most exciting fests and boasting its best line-up to date. As well as the usual programmes there are special events including a Barry Purves retrospective and behind-the-scenes presentations for Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, Isle of Dogs, This Magnificent Cake and The Highway Rat, not to mention a whole heap of panels loaded with industry wisdom if that's what you're in the market for.
Of course the event with the most bang for its buck is the cheap-as-free Skwigly Screening, another selection of excellent shorts (plus Sunscapades for filler) that aren't playing elsewhere at the festival. These were personally hand-picked from various showcase scoutings and festival preselections I've been involved with over the last year or so as well as a couple of recommendations from the MAF team that didn't quite make the official selection. These screenings are always a joy to put together and I hope some of you can check it out. It'll take place 5pm Wednesday November 14th at the Event Space in the festival's main venue HOME. The full list of films are as follows:
  • Living Like Heta (Dir. Bianca Caderas/Isabella Luu/Kerstin Zemp)
  • Donald Trump Watching The Voice (Dir. Joost Lieuwma)
  • Ooze (Dir. Kilian Vilim)
  • Thirsty (Dir. Oscar Barany)
  • Room (Dir. Michał Socha)
  • Winston (Dir. Aram Sarkisian)
  • The Hanging of Cowboy Benny (Dir. Joost Lieuwma)
  • Haley and Joanna (Dir. Laura Jayne Hodkin)
  • Adam (Dir. Emma Allen)
  • Sunscapades (Dir. Ben Mitchell)
  • Flipped (Dir. Hend Esmat/Lamiaa Diab)
  • Letting Go (Dir. Ülo Pikkov)
  • Fortune Telling at the Airport (Dir. Joost Lieuwma)
Immediately afterward in the same room Steve and I will be torturing festivalgoers with another edition of our infamous Skwigly Quiz. The questions will kick your arse but the prizes will be pretty amazing so you may as well try your luck. On the following day (the 15th) you should also swing by the Student Films Panorama to catch Laura-Beth Cowley's wonderful Boris-Noris. The one will be at 2:20pm at Cinema 2.
http://www.abertoir.co.uk
Also on the 15th I can confirm the screening time for Sunscapades at the Abertoir International Horror Festival of Wales will be at 3pm for Short Films Competition Part 1. The festival takes place at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre in Ceredigion, Wales and should be a blast, so check out the full schedule here and swing by if you can.  
https://www.riff.it/en/?p=18682
Right after that will be the Rome Independent Film Festival, an event that will see Sunscapades return to the fragrant shores of Italy. You can catch it in the shorts programme that will kick off at 4:20pm at the Nuovo Cinema Aquila on Monday November 19th!
https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=secretsofbritishanimationqanda&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=&utm_content=buffer6ad78&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitterbfi&utm_campaign=buffer
Meanwhile, back here in the rainy U of K, the BFI will be presenting a special preview of a new BBC4 documentary Secrets of British Animation followed by an onstage chat with the director Seb and the legendary Joanna Quinn, who I gather is featured quite prominently in the documentary (rightly so). I've not seen it yet but having had some peripheral involvement in it I can definitely say it's been put together with a lot of love and consideration. Plus hearing Joanna talk animation is always a joy, so if you can get yourself a ticket you won't regret it. Right now the broadcast date isn't 100% confirmed but I'll follow up when I know for sure.
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/adventures-of-bertram-fiddle-episode-2-a-bleaker-predicklement-switch
One last November nugget to nibble on is the excellent news that, following the first game's release on Nintendo Switch earlier this year, The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle - Episode 2: A Bleaker Predicklement will be doing likewise on the 22nd! Be sure to get it downloaded and treat yourselves to more puzzles, puns and dubious, hopefully-not-actually-offensive accents from my good self.
Now g'wan and get back to work, you.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Spooktacular

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/522449559-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-86.mp3
Just in time for Halloween, our spooky eighty-sixth episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast features directorial duo Dale Hayward and Sylvie Trouvé - whose National Film Board of Canada film Bone Mother has been released online this month - speaking with Laura-Beth. We also round-up some creepy animated short film highlights we've caught during our recent patronage of the BFI London Film FestivalCardiff Animation Nights and the Encounters Late Lounge and get up to speed on the progress of Marimo, while Steve and I discuss the legacies of two dearly-missed animation stalwarts Roger Mainwood (Ethel and Ernest) and Claymation pioneer Will Vinton, whose work has and will doubtless continue to leave a lasting impression on animation history. As always you can either direct download or give it a stream, although if it's still the 31st when you're reading this I'd recommend the latter as there's a 50/50 chance you'll get to hear a secret (well, not so much now) 'haunted' version of the episode. 
http://www.abertoir.co.uk
Sticking with the theme, the next festival that will be featuring my own creepy short Sunscapades is Abertoir: The International Horror Festival of Wales that takes place at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre from November 13th-18th. I'm not sure when exactly the film will screen just yet but I'm assuming it'll be either Thursday 15th or Friday 16th in one of the shorts programmes. In the meantime treat yourself to a gander at the festival line-up, it looks like a pretty fantastic event, all things considered.
Right, back to my evening of waiting for trick-or-treaters to show up and watching their faces fall when I give them handfuls of loose Fisherman's Friends. You've got to keep active as the nights draw in, folks.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Spreading Some Sunshine

http://www.liaf.org.uk/
As the days grow darker and chillier I take some comfort in seeing that Sunscapades is gradually picking up steam, with international screenings scheduled through the new year and the online community ablaze and agog with chatter about its impact on the independent filmmaking scene (by which I mean a few people have tweeted about it). One upcoming event who've just announced their full programme is the excellent London International Animation Festival, one I've frequently attended in a Skwigly capacity but never before as a filmmaker. Fortunately Sunscapades has been deemed grim enough to be part of their Late Night Bizarre programme on Saturday December 8th at the Horse Hospital, an indie arts venue that's no doubt riddled with angry horse ghosts whose vengeful equine spirits can only be assuaged by my cartoon merriment. You know how it goes.
In the more immediate future I have some updates on the busy few days the film has ahead, with screenings in Wales, Serbia and the US coming up. First off the SoDak Motion Festival in Brookings SD will include it on October 25th in their official selection that kicks off at 7pm. This will be at the South Dakota Art Museum (I'd previously mentioned it would also play in Sioux Falls on the 27th but I gather that one's been cancelled - FIE ON YOU, SIOUX FALLIANS. FIE I SAY!).
The following evening it will be in Serbia for Film Front, who've now announced the International Selection screening time will be 8pm at the Novi Sad Cultural Center.
Finally on Saturday 27th I'll be heading over to Chapter in Cardiff to catch the film's inclusion as part of Cardiff Animation Frights, which starts at 7pm - tickets for the screening are now on sale and as it's my birthday eve I'll be in an extra jubilant mood, so come along and keep me company as I continue to age gracelessly.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Sunny Disposition

Getting to see Sunscapades in front of a proper festival audience for the first time at Encounters last month was pretty darn wonderful and a hard one to top. However the massive crowd at yesterday's BFI London Film Festival screening proved to be up to the task. I was also blessed to be among some fab film talent whose work was also screening - including recent Skwigly interviewee Anna Mantzaris - not to mention most of the Sunscapades crew Laura-Beth, Hannah, Fiona and Phil. I appreciate that when men who look like me get sentimental it just comes off as creepy so I'll be brief in once again voicing my love and gratitude to such a fabulous team as well as Elaine and the rest of the LFF gang for letting my creepy little film be part of such a great event. If you missed the Real Horrorshow screening yesterday then you can still check it out this Thursday 6:30pm at Rich Mix, if you act fast there are a handful of tickets still available here.
Having sadly missed the fourth birthday celebration evening for Cardiff Animation Nights I'm excited to be swinging by later in the month for their special pre-Halloween screening Cardiff Animation Frights, curated by the wonderful Dani and at which Sunscapades will again be playing. So let's all go ahead make scare ourselves shiteless at Chapter on the 27th (screening will kick off at 7pm, after which I'm sure there'll be a beverage or several to be had).
That same weekend the film will be getting its hotly-anticipated (in so far as nobody's explicitly informed me that it isn't) Serbian debut at Film Front, or Filmski Front as is more fun to say. These fine folks previously programmed my films Ground Running and The Naughty List back in 2010, nearly eight years ago; that's right, folks - I've mastered basic subtraction. Although they've announced the official selection I don't know exactly when the screening will be, but the festival takes place October 25th-28th at the Novi Sad Cultural Center.
Do sljedećeg puta!

Monday, 8 October 2018

This Fine Social Scene

This week the fantastic Cardiff Animation Nights team will be celebrating its fourth birthday and I'm very honoured to say that Sunscapades will be among the short films screened on the night! These folks have been doing fantastic work over the years that recently culminated in their successful revival of the Cardiff Animation Festival on top of their regular meet-ups and soirées. Among the other films being shown will be Lucia Bulgheroni's Inanimate and Weekends by recent podcast guest Trevor Jimenez. If you haven't been to one of the events before you should definitely treat yourself as it's always a good time. This one will take place at Kongs from around 7:30pm this Thursday (11th).
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/925041481/marimo-a-magazine-about-animation-and-beyond/
Also it's worth mentioning that this is the final week of a pretty nifty crowdfunding campaign that should be of interest to anyone who'd be reading this. New animation magazine Marimo is putting together its second issue Phantasmagoria that will focus on the spooky side of animation. I can say with authority that it boasts some of the best and brightest that animation journalism has to offer - namely myself, because I'm an ass like that, but also Laura-Beth, who is in fact genuinely brilliant - and if this one turns out anywhere near as nice as their first issue you'd be a fool to not want a copy. You can back it here or, if you're light on cash at the mo, at the very least you enjoy the campaign video that the beautiful souls of Weird Eye Collective (who helped out crucially with Sunscapades) have put together:

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Premature Adulation

http://www.fanofilmfestival.it/?lang=en
The next outing for Sunscapades will serve as the film's Italian premiere at the Fano International Film Festival! This is one is fairly unique as it has announced its award winners and special mentions before the actual screenings have taken place. Can't say that's a practice I've ever encountered over this past decade of festival submissions but I shan't rock the boat as Sunscapades is among the films to get itself a Special Jury Mention! Not too shabby.
The screening itself will take place on Wednesday October 17th (landing slap-bang between its two screenings at the BFI London Film Festival) starting 9:15pm at the Cinema Malatesta in Fano alongside two recent favourites of mine, Britt Raes's Catherine and Rory Byrne's An Island.
https://www.sodakmotionfestival.com
Later this month the film is part of the 2018 SoDak Motion Festival's official selection, alongside such sterling work as Animade's Tend, Evan DeRushie's Birdlime and David Chai's Space Butthole. Actually I haven't seen the latter, I just found myself moved by the poetry of its title. Although I don't have exact specifics on times, the screenings will take place October 25th in Brookings SD at the South Dakota Art Museum and on October 27th in Sioux Falls, SD at the Washington Pavilion's Belbas Theatre. This festival also included Klementhro a couple years' back so they're a grand bunch in my book.
That's all for tonight but fret ye not, you fretty little fretting fretters, there'll be more news a-comin' soon.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Got a light?

The hometown premiere of Sunscapades at this year's Encounters festival went encouragingly well, especially considering the screenings were the first time I'd seen the film with a sizable festival audience. As with all films it's been educational as far as which bits get the strongest reactions but all things considered I couldn't be happier with how it went down. It was also very nice to be able to bring along almost all of the film's modest crew (Laura-Beth, Hannah, Phil and Carwyn) - not to mention me mam - and hopefully come October everyone involved will have gotten to see it on the big screen.
http://www.rplovesart.org/festival-eve-celebration.html
Until then the film will be popping up around the world at a few more lovely events. To cap off the week tomorrow night will see it among the launch programme for the Roselle Park Short Film Festival, a branch of the Roselle Park Arts Festival. In Roselle Park, believe it or not. If you're on that side of the pond you can check out the screening at the Climax Brewing Company's outdoor theatre at 5:30pm.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoJArRDB0L6/
One final reminder that if there are any David Lynch/Twin Peaks fans out there who haven't yet made weekend plans, my previous film Klementhro is screening as part of the Lynch Inspired Short Films programme at The Official Twin Peaks UK Festival. According to their social media there are still a handful of tickets left if you fancy snapping them up. The screenings will take place 3:30pm Saturday 29th and 11:30am Sunday 30th - I'm pretty sure it's the same programme repeated each day but I may be mistaken. At any rate here's the full list of films and you check out the complete weekend schedule here. Drink full and descend!

Monday, 24 September 2018

The gang's all here

 
As Encounters is about to kick off it's an exciting time for my new film Sunscapades and hopefully I'll get to see some of you at either the Wednesday or Thursday screening! To mark the occasion I've put up a new sneaky teaser clip for y'all. This is the third and probably final one as any more would give away one of the main story points, but your appetite for my moving doodles is not yet sated you can see the other teasers here and here.
It's worth mentioning also that tickets for next month's BFI London Film Festival - at which the film will also be screening - are now on sale. The Real Horrorshow screening takes place at the Prince Charles Cinema on Sunday October 14th at 3:30pm, then at the Rich Mix Cinema on Thursday October 18th, 6:15pm. If you're thinking of going it'd be best to act swiftly as they're selling fast, so grab 'em up here.
https://margatefilmfestival.co.uk/event/shorts-programme-3-animation-bazaar/
With its appearance at The Official Twin Peaks UK Festival looming, my earlier film Klementhro continues to charm its way into programmers' hearts or, at the very least, convince them of its value as tolerable filler material. On October 6th it will be part of the shorts programme Animation Bazaar at the inaugural edition of the Margate Film Festival in association with Short Sighted Cinema who gave it some love last year. The screening, taking place at Cliff's, will start at 2pm and tickets are priced very reasonably at whatever-the-hell-you-feel-like. Pretty sweet deal, I'd say.
https://benmitchellblog.blogspot.com/search/label/MAF
Meanwhile Laura-Beth Cowley's film Boris-Noris continues its strong streak with today's announcement of its inclusion in this year's Manchester Animation Festival, the fourth edition of which will take place at HOME November 13th-15th. The film will be part of the Student Films Panorama on the 15th at 2:20pm. MAF is always a fun one and you can check out the full line-up (including some of our regular Skwigly events and a screening of Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires) here.
http://www.cinequartierlibre.com/downloads/category/les-ptites-bobines-20182019/
Following its inclusion in the touring programme Festival Ciné Junior at the beginning of the year, starting this month Boris-Noris is also part of Les p’tites bobines, a selection Ciné Junior highlights that will be screening at events and before feature films at independent cinemas in the French department Seine-Saint-Denis over the course of the next twelve months. You can check out the Ciné Quartier Libre website for more info, though it'll help if you speak that Franceland speak.
https://www.facebook.com/sinemasadwrn
In a similar vein the film will precede a special screening of Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs this Friday at Sinema Sadwrn in the Welsh village Llansadwrn. It's an inspired pairing and should make for a great event, so check out their Facebook page for more info if you fancy checking it out.
Phew! And it's only Monday...

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

"Run over your knees with my bike"?

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/501988995-skwigly-intimate-animation-2-06.mp3
After a mere eleven-month hiatus Laura-Beth and I are back with a new episode of our Skwigly podcast series Intimate Animation! In this one we chat about some SAS Conference highlights, Disney menstruation films, the time I had naked people sellotaped to my stomach, the body-positive work of Joanna Quinn and Anna Ginsburg - not to mention Henry Winkler's dubious/horrifying ability to ad-lib. We’re also very pleased to welcome independent Croatian director Veljko Popović, who has followed up on his belting film Planemo with the fantastic Cyclists, a somewhat racy (eh?) tribute to the work of artist Vasko Lipovac that will be playing at Encounters next week. Give 'er a download or a streamy stream:
Speaking of Encounters, don't forget there are TWO screenings that will be featuring my new film Sunscapades, and tickets are on sale now:
I better see you there, or you're dead to me! LOLZ!
I'll also be participating in two panels during the festival, the first of which - Animation Today 1 - will be at 4pm on the 26th, with the second - Short Film Today 2 - at noon on the 27th. Festival passholders can book to attend either of these from 9am on the day, and all of the screenings and events take place at the Watershed here in Bristol.
http://www.kinofest.com/en/online-competition.html
Before then my preceding film Klementhro will be part of Romania's Kinofest International Film Festival that takes place in Bucharest, Oradea, Cluj and Timisoara from September 21st-23rd. I'm hazy on the specifics as to when and if it's part of a dedicated screening programme but it's definitely part of the festival's online competition if you fancy giving it some love.
http://www.vouanimarte.com.br/wordpress/?page_id=301
Lastly but not leastly, the continuing adventures of Laura-Beth's film Boris-Noris will see it screen at the Anim!Arte International Student Animation Festival of Brazil next week. There will be several screenings in the coming months but the first will be on Wednesday 26th as part of Session 11 which kicks off at 3pm in the Cúpula Galileu Galilei planetarium in Rio de Janeiro. You can download the full line-up here.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Klementhro Peaks

http://www.twinpeaksukfest.com
Here's something a little different - rather than a dedicated film or animation festival, the next event to include Klementhro in its line-up will be The Official Twin Peaks UK Festival, which will feature it as part of a screening of David Lynch-inspired short films.
This one has special significance to me as I'm an absolute Lynch devotee and everyone who had to endure being around me during the twenty-odd weeks the new Twin Peaks was airing last year will attest that I was absolutely obsessed with it.
Although Klementhro came about a few years earlier there was never any denying that its not-always-appealing weirdness owed a debt to Lynch, in particular his leanings toward the humour of repetition and drawn-out-scenarios. Also the trope, if that's what you could call it, of a solitary figure on a journey peppered by meetings with increasingly bizarre characters has been a Lynch mainstay since his earliest days.
All that aside the event looks like great fun, with all sorts of Lynch-ey activities, events and screenings plus a bunch of people from the show itself will be there, so I'm excited to pop along and check it out. If you want to check out the schedule and grab tickets you can head over to the official site.