Friday, 28 August 2020

End o'week twofer

Crikey, two blog posts in one week. It's starting to get like the before times up in here.

Firstly I want to say thanks to all the folks who checked out last night's Cardiff Animation Nights screening and to the wonderful filmmakers Lana Simanenkova, Cliona Noonan and Justin Hilden for participating in our Skwigly Q&As afterwards. It was really encouraging to see such a positive response over the feed and knock wood we'll be able to do more like it in the near future. Kudos as always to Lauren, Ellys and the CAN team for a great selection and for keeping enthusiasm for this kind of thing alive.

To wrap up this week I have news of two more events that will be including my latest film Speed, the first being the Warsaw Animation Film Festival that, having kicked off yesterday, will be including the film in the Professional Animation Competition Block 3: Twisted all throughout Sunday (August 30th) via the online platform MOJEeKINO. You can check out the full programme here. Dziękuję, folks!

The tremendous Anima Syros festival has also revealed that Speed is among their official selection this week. This was one of the first events to give Klementhro a punt around five years back so they hold a special place in my heart. This time around my film will be included as part of the International Panorama alongside some magnificent work and, all being well, the festival will run from September 23rd through to the 27th as a 'Phygital' edition. More info on how that will manifest itself and programme specifics when it comes.

That's all from this guy. Enjoy your bank holiday, kids!

Monday, 24 August 2020

What? 'Spalpeen' is definitely a word.

Happy Monday, youngfolk!

This year's edition of the magnificent Encounters Film Festival has announced its Official Selection, which I'm excited to say includes my latest film Speed as well as Laura-Beth's The Gift among what looks like an absolutely stellar line-up. For those of you paying attention - yes, I was on the preselection team for the festival again and no, I didn't get to preselect the films I worked on. But I would have in a goddamn heartbeat because I'm a lovably unscrupulous spalpeen and, frankly, they're delightful.

Other personal highlights include some films/filmmakers recently covered on Skwigly, such as Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf's SH_T HAPPENS, Theodore Ushev's The Physics of SorrowAndreas Hykade's Altötting and Robin Shaw's The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Of course this will be a digital edition and you can find out more info as it comes via the festival website in the coming weeks.

That reminds me, following up on my earlier post regarding Speed's inclusion as part of Fest Anča's Extremely Short Selection of Extremely Short Films - it looks like that one is indeed going ahead as a physical edition. Obviously they have precautions set up but it'll be an indoor screening, so if you swing by then be sure to be safe and, y'know, make sure you don't hug your nan for a while. At any rate it'll be this Friday 11pm at the Stanica Žilina-Záriečie in the EKSEKF 2 programme.

Back to Skwiglyville, we've wrapped up our second batch of Skwigly Film Club episodes, so if you're not yet caught up then head over to the site to catch our recent watch-throughs of George Dunning's Yellow Submarine and Jonathan Myerson's The Canterbury Tales. Also if you want to weigh in on what we look at next then be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter and cast your votes during the playoffs.

If you fancy something else to listen to then you can siphon a previously-unreleased upload I dusted off over the weekend into your trembling little earholes. This is an alternate, non-explicit edit of the opening track to my 2015 LP The Birdcage plucked from a pile of prospective b-sides for the next EP that will hopefully be going up soon. It was quite a long time ago that I put this one together so I don't remember much about making it other than having some fun with the funky-worm synth during the bridge. Anyways, here it is:

Weren't that purtey? Right, now scram, ya ingrates.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Ridin' them coattails again


Happy Monday, gang! Following its TV broadcast earlier this year there's some festival news for Laura-Beth Cowley's latest film The Gift, made for BBC Arts/Calling The Shots and on which I animated and made various unpleasant noises. These will all be online events and all look like great fun so give 'em some consideration.

Down Mexico way it will be among the official selection for Macabro FICH, which takes place August 25th-30th. I'm not exactly sure if there are fixed programme times or if the screenings will be accessible for the duration as there's no English version of the site and I'm an uneducated fool who can barely speak his own language at the best of times, let alone Spanish.

Another exciting inclusion taking place around the same time is this year's edition of Arrow Video Frightfest. This is the second time I've been able to ride the coattails of someone else's film getting in to this particular festival and I'm enthusiastic to see how the digital version comes together. The Gift will be part of the Short Films Showcase 2 that festivalgoers can stream from 6pm on August 27th through to 9pm on the 31st. Tickets are a measly £5 and you can grab 'em up here. Also worth a reminder that right afterward Laura-Beth and I will be helping out our pals at Cardiff Animation Nights for their August programme that starts at 8:15pm on YouTube, so that's your evening sorted!

The following week the Linoleum Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival will be taking place, starting on September 2nd through to the 6th. Having featured Laura-Beth's previous film Boris-Noris back in 2017 (as well as my film Klementhro the previous year) these folks have further cemented their reputation for good taste by featuring both The Gift and my latest film Speed this year. The Gift will be among the Ladies First programme showcasing standout new work by female directors and Speed can be seen as part of the special screening #KillMePlease curated by Skwigly comrade Aaron Wood.

A couple months further down the line the film will be participating in the first season of the Nosferatu Film Festival, a triannual event focused of indie horror films that will be taking kicking things off in October/November. More info on that one when it comes, in the meantime you can follow the film's Facebook page and Instagram for updates.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Yelling with my mouth shut

Some more podcasts to sink your ears into, if that were how ears worked. It's been a minute but there's a new episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast up now in which we meet four of the rising talents at Walt Disney Animation Studios who have recently made films for the first season of the Disney+ exclusive shorts series Short Circuit.

Participating in the roundtable discussion are Jennifer Stratton (Zenith), Trent Correy (Drop), Kendra Vander Vliet (Downtown) and Jeff Gipson (Cycles).

Also discussed in this episode: The welcome return of Animaniacs, the unwelcome return of Ren and Stimpy among other recent Gen X Comedy Central reboots, Don Hertzfeldt's teaser for World of Tomorrow: Episode 3, the curious pushback against the creator of A24's new acquisition Hazbin Hotel as well as the rapid adaptation of the animation festival landscape midst the continuing pandemic. Direct download link is here or stream below if you're the streamin' type:

Maybe it's lockdown or maybe it's the heat - or maybe that we're nearly 100 episodes in - but listening back while putting this one together it feels a little more contentious and didactic than usual. As always if anyone out there has any thoughts on some of the stuff we go into feel free to get in touch, even if it's to tell me what a grouchy melt I'm being.

If that still leaves you wanting then there's good news in that the Skwigly Film Club is still clubbin' along. Recent episodes have included watch-throughs of such fine fillums as Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Roger Mainwood's Ethel and Ernest as well as Chris Butler and Sam Fell's ParaNorman. The polls are still open for which film we'll babble over during this week's episode, so be sure to cast your vote and assist in determining our fate.

On the subject of a possible future podcast strand, some of you may recall Tanya Scott's Skwigly article Inclusion & Diversity in UK Animation Workforce: A Response addressing the findings of a prominent industry survey. It's prompted a lot of discussion and through podcasts and panel discussions Tanya's been expanding on some of the conversation points in the months since, such as a recent Inclusion In Animation panel back in June. The reactions have been very encouraging and hopefully it will prove to be something Skwigly can assist with further. In the meantime Tanya will be conducting a follow-up panel further discussing BAME issues within the industry and if you're interested in hearing more, helping out or contributing questions be sure to follow her new organisation Visible in Visuals. If you missed the original panel unfortunately it wasn't recorded but the Cardiff Animation Festival put up an excellent infographic series breaking down the points and insights that came up.

Speaking of the ever-wonderful CAF team, Laura-Beth and I will be mucking in with their next Cardiff Animation Nights screnning in a Skwigly capacity for some filmmaker Q&As. The event will take place August 27th via their YouTube channel, kicking off around 8:15pm so be sure to tune in.

As my brains are melting out of my ears right now I think I'll wrap up this post here, but swing by again soon as there's some more good news a-comin'...